Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, facing flak over his Mumbai being left with no money left if people from Rajasthan and Gujarat leave, on Monday apologised for the same.
Koshyari made the controversial comments during a function to name a chowk (intersection) in suburban Andheri on Friday evening.
“I tell people here that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from Maharashtra, especially from Mumbai and Thane, you will be left with no money and Mumbai will not be a financial capital,” he had said.
A statement issued by the Raj Bhavan on Monday evening quoted Koshyari as saying that he is confident that people of Maharashtra will display their large heart and forgive him for his recent remarks.
Koshyari said he may have committed a mistake while speaking about the contribution of some members of society, during his Andheri speech.
I expect the citizens of this state would forgive a humble servant of this state by abiding with the teachings of several saints. It was an unintentional error from my side, Koshyari said.
On Saturday, as his comments drew widespread condemnation, Koshyari had said that the statement was misconstrued, and asked political parties not to create a controversy.
There was no question of belittling the contribution of Marathi-speaking people and “lauding one community does not mean insulting another,” he had said.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had demanded an apology from Koshyari.
The former chief minister, whose relations with Koshyari were often strained while in office, accused the governor of “dividing” Hindus living in Mumbai and Thane.
“The hatred that the governor harbours in his mind against the Marathi people has inadvertently come out,” Thackeray had said.
“Time has come to decide whether to send Koshyari back home or to jail. In the last three years, he has insulted Marathi-speaking people despite staying in Maharashtra. Now with these comments, he has brought disrespect to the governor’s post,” the Sena president said.
Chief Minister Shinde, leader of the rebel Shiv Sena faction, had said he disagreed with Koshyari’s remarks.
“We don’t agree with Koshyari’s remarks. It’s his personal view. He has now issued a clarification. He occupies a constitutional post and should take care that his actions do not insult others. “The Marathi community’s hard work has contributed to the development and progress of Mumbai. No one can insult Mumbai and Marathi people,” Shinde had said.
Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said Marathi-speaking people played a major role in the development and growth of Maharashtra. “Even in the industrial sector, Marathi-speaking people have made global strides. We don’t agree with the governor’s remarks,” Fadnavis had said.
(With inputs from Agencies)