The Bharatiya Janata Party’s demand for a resolution to honour Veer Savarkar led to uproar in the Assembly on Wednesday as the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena skirted the issue over ideological differences. Speaker Nana Patole, after allowing BJP leaders to voice their concerns, rejected their demand for a resolution. The day marked the death anniversary of Savarkar.
The Assembly witnessed high drama as a large number of BJP MLAs on Wednesday morning walked into the House wearing saffron caps,-“Mi Paan Savarkar (I am also Savarkar)”. The Opposition, with 105 MLAs, raised slogans in support of Savarkar. BJP MLAs also tried to raise slogans against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Former chief minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said, “The Assembly should adopt a resolution to honour Savarkar. And Congress should ban the in-house magazine ‘Shidori’ for an article on Savarkar.”
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar raised the matter in the Assembly saying, “We want Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to just bring a two-line resolution honouring Savarkar. We are not here to debate the ideological differences nor politicise the subject.”
Shortly after the Assembly resumed in the morning, Thackeray walked in and hurriedly left the House. He remained in his own chamber, leaving it to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to lead the House. While the Sena decided to keep its pro-Savarkar agenda aside, Congress leaders had warned against any resolution. The NCP took a middle path.
Pawar said, “There is no ambiguity that Savarkar was a great revolutionary and revered by people across the country. But the question remains, ‘why is the BJP demanding a resolution in his honour now? The Fadnavis government never brought any resolution in the last five years on his birth or death anniversary.”
”Secondly, when Fadnavis was the CM he had twice ? August 20, 2018 and January 17, 2019 ? written to the Narendra Modi government to honour Savarkar with Bharat Ratna. Till date, the Centre has not taken any decision,” he said.
BJP convenes mock Assembly
After the Speaker rejected the demand for a resolution on Veer Savarkar, BJP MLAs held a mock Assembly. Sitting on the floor of the Assembly in front of the Speaker’s podium, BJP MLAs conducted the mock business to make a political statement. However, none of it will be considered in legislative record.
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