Police bandobast has been beefed up outside former minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal’s residence in Nasik following his demand that the portraits of Goddess of Learning, Saraswati, should be removed from educational institutions. Chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis have summarily rejected the demand. Addressing a function, Bhujbal had criticised the practice to adorn walls of educational institutions with portraits of Saraswati, who is revered as Goddess of Learning and Knowledge. He had said that instead, portraits of social reformers should be used in such places. “What has Saraswati done for your education? Worship those who fought society to spread education for you,” suggested Bhujbal. Bhujbal also alleged that just 3% of the population has benefited because of Saraswati, who had deprived other sections of education. Fadnavis said Goddess Saraswati was regarded as embodiment of knowledge, arts and culture. Only those disagreeing with these values can make such statements. Shinde said his government belonged to the people and would do what the people wished. No portraits would be removed just because someone says something. In the midst of the raging controversy, Bhujbal was not in Nasik, his personal staff told a BJP delegation, which had rushed to his farm house to protest.