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Face mask only shield against coronavirus: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

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Pune, Feb 19: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that swords and shields were used in the battles fought during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's times but in the fight against the coronavirus, face mask is the only shield.

uddhav thackeray

He made the statement at the Shivneri fort in Junnar tehsil of Pune district, where he paid homage to Shivaji Maharaj on his birth anniversary. Shivaji Maharaj was born on Shivneri fort in 1630. Thackeray visited the fort in the morning and paid floral tributes to Shivaji Maharaj and his mother Jijabai.

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Thackeray said that entire Maharashtra reveres Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a deity. "Numerous kings came and disappeared.... Numerous battles were fought, several kingdoms came and vanished, but there is something special about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj," he said.

"Shivaji Maharaj fought several battles and established 'swaraj'.... There is no need to tell how he fought the opponents. No such battles are being fought now, and there are no swords and shields. But right now we are fighting a battle against the coronavirus and face mask is the only shield in the fight," he said.

"...we will strike whenever it is required, but while defending, we have to use a shield. In this battle, mask is our shield...do not forget that," Thackeray added.

One cannot win a battle by just holding a sword. One needs a determined heart and the desire to win. Shivaji Maharaj continues to provide that inspiration, he said. The chief minister also attended several programmes, including the "cradle ceremony", at the fort.

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Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was also present there on the occasion. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the district administration had urged people not to gather at Shivneri fort to celebrate the Maratha warrior king's birth anniversary.

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    Thackeray also said that he considers himself fortunate and blessed as he got the opportunity to come to Shivneri for the second consecutive year to pay homage.

    He added that the radiance of history linked to all the forts in the state needs to be spread across the globe. The chief minister said that during the programme, someone told him that Shivaji Maharaj possessed a certain skill. "Even Dada (Ajit Pawar) has that skill. I am going to learn it to find out what is going on in his mind," he said in a lighter vein.

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