Hailing the “cordial political culture” of Maharashtra, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday that it should be emulated by leaders in other states of the country.
The BJP leader was speaking here at the launch of a book penned by Marathi film-maker Ramdas Phutane who is also known for his witty verse on politics. “Maharashtra has a tradition of cordial relations between leaders of various parties and it should be emulated by other states too,” Gadkari said.
“Once (Samajwadi Party leader) Mulayam Singh asked me how was it that I and Sharad Pawar were seen together at Murli Manohar Joshi’s felicitation in Parliament though we are from rival parties. I told him that in Maharashtra, politics happens only during elections, afterwards we become friends,” he said.
Even when the BJP was in opposition in the state, leaders like Sharad Pawar (then in Congress) and Sushil Kumar Shinde treated them with respect, Gadkari said.
“I am indebted to (Congress leader) Datta Meghe who was a minister but treated us with great respect at a time when no one gave importance to us,” he said. On the other hand, leaders of DMK and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu or those of SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh are usually not on talking terms with each other, he said.
Speaking later at a function at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI), Gadkari applauded the contribution of the institute, and said had it not submitted documentation about the ancient Ram temple in Ayodhya to the Supreme Court, it would have been difficult `to build a new temple’.
Noted archaeologist Dr G B Deglurkar was given the first Sir R G Bhandarkar Memorial Award during the program. Gadkari also said that our ancestors did not record history and the British wrote history of India as per their convenience. “Unfortunately, we continued to work further with that history as our base,” he added.