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Bhagat Singh Koshyari: 5 Controversies During his Tumultuous Tenure as Maharashtra Governor


Last Updated: January 23, 2023, 17:32 IST

The governor apprised PM Narendra Modi of his desire during the latter’s visit to Mumbai last week. (Photo: Twitter/@maha_governor)

Koshyari took over as the 22nd Governor of Maharashtra on September 9, 2019. Opposition parties including Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, Congress an-d the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have been demanding removal of Koshyari

In a surprising decision, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday announced to step down from the post, saying he has already informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to relieve him of all his political responsibilities.

An official release stated that Koshyari wants to spend the rest of his life reading, writing and in other leisurely activities. The governor apprised PM Narendra Modi of his desire during the latter’s visit to Mumbai last week.

In the statement issued by Raj Bhavan, Governor Koshyari said, “It was an absolute honour and privilege for me to serve as the Rajya Sevak or Rajyapal of a great State like Maharashtra – the land of Saints, Social reformers and valiant fighters.”

“I can never forget the love and affection I have received from the people of Maharashtra during the last little more than 3 years. During the recent visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to Mumbai, I have conveyed to him my desire to be discharged of all political responsibilities and to spend the remainder of my life in reading, writing and other activities. I have always received the love and affection from the Hon’ble Prime Minister and I hope to receive the same in this regard,” Koshyari stated.

5 Controversies involving Maharashtra Governor Koshyari

Koshyari took over as the 22nd Governor of Maharashtra on September 9, 2019. Opposition parties including Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, Congress an-d the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have been demanding removal of Koshyari especially after Eknath Shinde took over as the chief minister last year.

  • In November 2022, Koshyari sparked a major political controversy after calling Maratha icon Shivaji Maharaj an icon of “olden days”. “Earlier, when you would be asked who your icon is — Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi used to be the answers. In Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is of olden time, there are Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari,” the governor had said.
  • Koshyari, in July 2022, said if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from Maharashtra, especially from Mumbai and Thane, there will be no money and Mumbai will not be a financial capital. However, he had said his statement was misconstrued and added there was no question of belittling the contribution of Marathi-speaking people and “lauding one community does not mean insulting another,”
  • In March 2022, Koshyari found himself in a fresh controversy after he allegedly mocked the child marriage of social activists Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule.“Savitribai was married off at the age of 10 and her husband was 13-year-old at that time. Now, think about it, what must girls and boys be thinking after getting married,” he had said, Indian Express reported.
  • Uddhav Thackeray, former chief minister of Maharashtra, accused the Governor of not filling 12 vacant seats in the state Legislative Council from his quota.
  • In a dramatic twist to political events in Maharashtra after Assembly polls, Koshyari administered oath of office to Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister amid BJP-Sena tussle in the early hours of morning on November 23, 2019. However, three days later, Fadnavis resigned as the chief minister ahead of the floor test after Ajit Pawar pulled out of his government.

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