Allies-turned-foes BJP and Shiv Sena on Friday strongly reacted to the distribution of a Hindi booklet by a Congress affiliate which claims that Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse were in a physical relationship. The Hindi booklet, titled “Veer Savarkar, Kitne ‘Veer’?”, was distributed at a camp of the Congress-affiliated organisation in Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP termed the insinuation by the Congress Seva Dal “abhorrent” and accused the outfit of working to denigrate all leaders outside the Nehru-Gandhi family. BJP general secretary Anil Jain took a swipe at the Congress, saying that “the world knows various relationships of Congress leaders”, but he does not want to throw such muck.
Nobody in the Congress suffered like Veer Savarkar, a Hindutva icon, Jain said and asked as to what low the opposition party has fallen to in attacking him. The Congress should answer about such an abhorrent comment made about Savarkar, he said.
Raising the issue during a rally in Jodhpur, Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah said the Congress should be ashamed of themselves. “For vote-bank politics, Congress party is speaking against a great personality like Veer Savarkar as well. Congressmen should be ashamed of themselves,” said Shah.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also targeted the Congress by calling them “dirt in their mind.”
“Savarkar was a great man and will remain a great man. A section keeps talking against him. This shows the dirt in their mind,” Raut said, responding to the insinuations in the booklet, titled “Veer Savarkar, Kitne ‘Veer’?” The booklet also alleged that Savarkar received money from the British after he was released from Andaman’s Cellular Jail.
Last month, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s jibe that his name was not “Rahul Savarkar” and hence he would not seek apology (about his remark on rape) had riled the Shiv Sena, his party’s new-found ally in Maharashtra.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis demanded that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ban a booklet distributed by the Seva Dal which questions Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s credentials as a patriot. Fadnavis, a former Maharashtra chief minister, said the Congress had exhibited its “wicked” psyche by circulating such a booklet, which underscored its “intellectual bankruptcy”.
Meanwhile, Union minister Smriti Irani asked the Congress how long it would “insult the sacrifices” of Savarkar and said the opposition party will have to give an answer to the people of Maharashtra and all patriots in the country.
“The Congress, which is one of the ruling parties in Maharashtra, will have to answer the Marathi people and all patriots in the country how long will it continue to insult the sacrifice of Veer Savarkar,” Irani said at the Delhi BJP office. She also asked why does the Congress consider its “birthright to humiliate” Veer Savarkar.
(With Inputs with PTI)
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