Cap Controversy: How The Battle For Power In Maharashtra Has Become A Question Of Pride In Uttarakhand

Cap Controversy: How The Battle For Power In Maharashtra Has Become A Question Of Pride In Uttarakhand Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Snapshot
  • Sachin Sawant’s comment on cap is slammed as an insult to a symbol of cultural pride, and the army.

A vital cultural symbol of Uttarakhand became the centre of a war of words between Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier today (1 May) over a comment by Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

Sawant made his comments on the cap worn by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari against the backdrop of the political drama unfolding in the state surrounding Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat strongly reacted to comments from the Congress spokesperson, underlining his pride in the cultural symbol — the cap — which is treasured in Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand.

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat sprang in support of Sawant, further attacking Koshyari.

It all began when Sawant commented on Koshyari's cap in a post on Twitter.

This is what he seemed to say in the post in Marathi: If his excellency the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari thinks after removing his cap, then he will certainly realise his responsibility and appoint Uddhav Thackeray to the legislative council. This cap, though, is coming in the way of his constitutional responsibility.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Rawat cornered Congress on the comments — calling them abhadra (indecent).

In a post on Twitter, CM Rawat said that the indecent comment on Koshyari's cap by Maharashtra Congress spokesperson insults a vital cultural symbol of Devbhoomi culture, and is an insult to the armed forces.

He said that it must be known that the symbol has been associated with Garhwal and Kumaon regiments.

Chief Minister Rawat was referring to Devbhoomi as the home to the Garhwal Rifles and the Kumaon Regiment, which happen to be two of the most decorated infantry regiments of the Indian Army.

Koshyari is former chief minister of Uttarakhand. Sawant's attack was not confined to Koshyari. He attacked CM Rawat.

In another post, Sawant turned his attack on CM Rawat — referring to the cap that Rawat wears.

CM Rawat has worn a similar cap many times — including at solemn occasions, such as during a tribute to a slain soldier from the state.

In his attack on Rawat, Sawant said that he must take off his own cap and then decide how the comment on Koshyari's cap was indecent.

He accused CM Rawat of misinforming people. He said that Koshyari himself has spoken about the political motive of wearing the cap and people in Uttarakhand hold a view on Koshyari's cap.

Sawant was actually referring to a comment from former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.

Bhagat Singh Koshyari जी खूब काली टोपी पहनिये मगर याद रखिये गांधी जी ने जब "अंग्रेजों भारत छोड़ो" का नारा दिया था, कुछ...

Posted by Harish Rawat on Sunday, June 2, 2019

Rawat referred to Koshyari's cap as a replica of the cap which was associated with the protests of 1942 (during the Quit India Movement).

Sawant's claim seems to arise from a comment from Harish Rawat made on Facebook, an image of which he has attached to this tweet.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seems to be at the centre of the tussle between Kushyari and Harish Rawat surrounding the cap.

This report points at Kushyari having referred to Rahul Gandhi's utter dislike for his cap during the sessions at Parliament's Central Hall.

There were reactions on social media to Trivendra Singh Rawat's post. This post on Twitter seems to express solidarity with the people of Devbhoomi.

Koshyari has been at the centre of attacks from several quarters of Maharashtra politics since the government formation in the state.

Koshyari requested the Election Commission to hold polls for the filling up of nine seats in the legislative council of Maharashtra which have been vacant. He said this should be done “at the earliest”.

Uddhav Thackeray, it is likely, will contest from one of these. He will have to give up the CM post on failing to get elected to any of the two houses by 28 May.

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