Members of the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra staged a protest here on Sunday against the BJP-led government in neighbouring Karnataka and hit an effigy of its Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the alleged desecration of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Bengaluru.
The protest was led by Sena legislators Sada Sarvankar and Manisha Kayande near the statue of the Maratha warrior king at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai.
Kayande said Union Home Minister Amit Shah should direct Bommai to tender an apology.
The Shiv Sainiks beat up an effigy of the Karnataka CM and shouted slogans condemning the alleged incident in the neighbouring incident.
There was a brief scuffle between police and the Shiv Sainiks when the latter were stopped from doing so.
Talking to reporters, Sarvankar claimed the BJP seeks votes in the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra and insults the warrior king in Karnataka.
The Shiv Sainiks had on Saturday also protested outside the BJP’s head office in south Mumbai against Bommai’s ‘dismissive’ remark about the desecration incident.
Maharashtra minister and Sena leader Eknath Shinde had alleged that Bommai termed the incident of desecration as “minor”.
Tension prevailed in Belagavi bordering Maharashtra on Saturday after alleged activists of the Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti vandalised a statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna, following news that a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was desecrated in Bengaluru.
Karnataka CM Bommai on Sunday appealed to people to respect iconic personalities and avoid lending ears to rumours.
“Our government will not tolerate anyone insulting the patriots and disturbing law and order in the state. Convey your sentiments peacefully. Whoever they are, we will deal with them with an iron hand,” he said.