MUMBAI: Days after his remarks eulogising the contribution of Gujaratis and Rajasthanis to Mumbai's development at the cost of others drew flak, governor B S Koshyari has tendered an apology. "People here have given me immense love and affection. However, on that day, it appears I inadvertently committed a mistake. I can't even imagine insulting people of a state like Maharashtra, which has a great tradition and history of saints."
Guv says sorry for 'insulting' people of Maharashtra
Alarmed by the cr-iticism for undermining the people of Maharashtra, governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday tendered an apology for his remark that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis were excluded from Mumbai, there would be no money left in Mumbai and it would cease to be India's financial capital.
"While addressing a gathering...on the development of Mumbai, I feel I committed a mistake while eulogizing the contribution of members of certain communities...in the last three years, the people of Maharashtra have given me immense love and affection, I have tried by best to enhance the prestige of Maharashtra and Marathi language. But on that day, it appears I inadvertently committed a mistake. I am confident that the people of Maharashtra will display their large heart and forgive this humble servant of people. I cannot even imagine insulting the people of a state like Maharashtra which has a great tradition and a history of saints," Koshyari said.
Leaders of the rival Shiv Sena factions, BJP, Congress, NCP and MNS had criticized Koshyari for his comment at a chowk-naming function last week. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had demanded an unconditional apology and said it was time that Koshyari be shown the 'Kolhapuri chappal'. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule, and Congress leaders Nana Patole and Balasaheb Thorat had condemned the statement. CM Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis had distanced themselves from Koshyari, saying they do not agree with his comment.
Meanwhile, about 500 NCP activists, led by former minister Jitendra Awhad and Thane city president Anand Paranjape, travelling in buses to Raj Bhavan to protest against Koshyari, were detained by Kopri police on Monday.