MUMBAI: The Congress on Saturday slammed Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for not removing his footwear while paying floral tributes to the martyrs of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Koshyari and chief minister Eknath Shinde paid floral tributes at the memorial of martyrs, who had laid down their lives while fighting terrorists during the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, in the premises of the Police Commissioner’s Office this morning.
The Raj Bhavan said a senior police official had told the governor that removing footwear was not necessary at such places. The statement said it was “mischievous and malicious” to say the governor insulted the police martyrs by laying the wreath with sandals on.
Taking to Twitter, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) general secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant said removing one’s footwear while paying tribute is Indian culture and definitely the culture of Maharashtra.
“The governor has been repeatedly disrespecting Maharashtra, its culture and icons. CM Eknath Shinde should have reminded him to remove his footwear and show respect to the martyrs of the terror attacks,” Sawant tweeted.
Koshyari is already in the eye of the storm for his recent remark in which he referred to Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as an icon of the “olden days”. The governor has drawn flak from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT), who have staged protests across the state demanding his ouster.
“Just before the governor proceeded to lay a wreath at the Police Martyrs’ Memorial at Commissionarate of Police office in Mumbai earlier today, a senior police official expressly told the Governor that it is not necessary to remove the sandals or shoes at such place,” the Raj Bhavan said in a statement.
The same thing is followed even at the National War Memorial, which the governor had visited recently, it said.
“It is therefore mischievous and malicious to state that the governor insulted the police martyrs by laying the wreath with sandals on. Even the chief secretary and other officials can be seen wearing their shoes while placing wreaths at the Memorial,” it said.

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By Bhushan K

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