Pune: Following a public spat between two royals of Satara – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha (RS) member Udyanraje Bhosale, and his cousin and BJP MLA Shivendraraje Bhosale – and their supporters, during a foundation stone-laying ceremony of a new building in Satara district, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday tried to broker peace between the warring cousins. Fadnavis, who was in the district on Thursday, held a two-hour-long meeting with the duo to bring about reconciliation. After the meeting, Fadnavis said, “They want to work for the people and while there are occasions when they spar, it’s not a very big deal.”
The royals, along with their respective followers, had confronted each other Wednesday during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a new building on land belonging to the local agriculture produce market committee (APMC) at the outskirts of Satara city. Shivendraraje Bhosale controls the local APMC. On Wednesday, Udayanraje Bhosale and his supporters had reached the site before the ceremony and crushed a container using a JCB machine to bring the proposed ceremony to a halt. A while later, Shivendraraje Bhosale and his supporters had reached the site, and the two groups had confronted each other forcing the police to intervene.
Allegedly, Udayanraje had said that the land belongs to him and that some of the locals are tenants and that the documents in the possession of these locals show that there is a stay order on the land dispute matter. Udayan Raje had been heard telling the police to file a case of trespass against the opposite camp. Even as the argument over the ownership of the said land had gotten underway, Shivendraraje had been seen using a tiller and performing the foundation stone-laying ceremony despite resistance from the Udayanraje side. The cousins had then come face-to-face, their respective followers in tow.
According to the chairman of the local APMC, the 15-and-a-half acres’ land had been acquired by the market committee and the 7/12 extract of the same was in its name. The tenants had already received compensation, the chairman said.
Whereas Shivendraraje said that the Market Yard building is planned on land meant for the farmers and traders. “Those who are challenging the ownership of this land should produce evidence. We have had multiple meetings with the police over the land dispute but no one (from the other group) has ever attended. They (the other group) do/does not have any legal standing and are just trying to heckle us and put pressure. But the truth has prevailed as we performed the stone-laying ceremony as planned.”
Although the two descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj belong to the same party, relations between them have soured in the past few years and there have been occasions in the past as well when they have confronted each other.