Pune: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said BJP leader Udayanraje Bhosale should give proof he is the descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, and asserted that no one has ownership rights over the Maratha warrior king.
Raut also said NCP chief Sharad Pawar is the "Janata Raja" (enlightened king) as people of Maharashtra have given him that title.
In an interview to a media group during its award function here, the Shiv Sena leader also revealed that he had once met underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and "admonished" him.
Also, in a piece of advice to Rahul Gandhi, he said the Congress leader should spend "15 hours" in the party office.
Raut, whose party formed a coalition government with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra last year, said it is Bhosale's right what to speak as he is now in the BJP and putting forth his opinionas an opposition leader.
Amid the controversy over the book "Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi", written by BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal, Bhosale on Tuesday said, "Every time, it is said that ask descendants. When the Shiv Sena was christened, when the word 'Shiv' was used, did you come and ask the descendants?"
Asked about Bhosale's comments, Raut said, "He should bring proof that he is the descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji."
Raut said Shivaji Maharaj is "considered as God" and one does not go to God and tell him before worshipping him.
"No one has the ownership rights over Shivaji Maharaj," the Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member said.
He also said that the title of 'Janata Raja' has been given to Sharad Pawar by people of Maharashtra because he has worked for them.
"Similarly, people of the state gave the title of 'Hinduhriday Samrat' to (late Sena supremo) Balasaheb Thackeray," Raut said.
Bhosale, who was earlier in the NCP, on Tuesday said no one in the world can be compared to Chhatrapati Shivaji, the 17th century Maratha ruler who is a highly revered figure in Maharashtra.
The former Satara MP, who is a descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, also dared the Shiv Sena to remove the word 'Shiv' from its name, and rechristen the party as "Thackeray Sena".
He also said that only Chhatrapati Shivaji can be called the 'Janata Raja' and nobody else, a remark viewed as a swipe at Sharad Pawar, who is sometimes referred to by the title in political circles.
Meanwhile, recalling days of the underworld in Mumbai, Raut said he had once met fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim and rebuked him.
"I haveseen him, I have met him, I have spoken to him and I have also admonished him," the Sena leader said.
Asked what advice he has for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Raut said, "He should spend 15 hours in the party office."