Uddhav Thackeray disagrees with Rahul Gandhi's remarks; says love and respect Savarkartext_fields
Mumbai: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said he does not support the Congress leader's comments on V D Savarkar because he respects Savarkar. This comes two days after Rahul Gandhi criticised Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar on the Bharat Jodo Yatra and caused controversy.
Thackeray countered that Shiv Sena supports Gandhi's yatra in order to preserve national freedom. Additionally, he made it known that he might not attend the rally at Shegaon that the Congress is hosting as part of the Yatra. Both Thackeray and Sharad Pawar, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, had been invited by the Congress.
"We do not agree with what Rahul Gandhi said about Veer Savarkar. We respect and love Savarkar. But before questioning us over freedom fighters and Savarkar, you (BJP) should tell us first what was the RSS's role and contribution in the freedom fight. We were not there during the freedom fight, but the RSS was there. The organisation had no role in the freedom fight," Thackeray said reminding the BJP that it had partnered with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir to establish the government and added that the BJP had no right to mention Savarkar, Indian Express reported.
"The PM has all the rights to award Bharat Ratna, when you speak so much about Savarkar, why have you not given Bharat Ratna to Savarkar yet?" Thackeray asked.
Gandhi stated on Tuesday that whereas Savarkar, who is revered by the BJP and the RSS, sent mercy petitions to the British, Congress idolises tribal hero Birsa Munda because he faced death without losing his pride.
Gandhi's remark drew the fury of the BJP and the Shiv Sena party led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Devendra Fadnavis, the BJP's deputy chief minister, criticised Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday for participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra while Gandhi was reportedly disparaging Savarkar.
A Shinde faction MP named Rahul Shewale urged on Wednesday that the Bharat Jodo Yatra be put on hold in Maharashtra due to Gandhi's "objectionable comments" against Savarkar.
Shewale said, "as Bal Thackeray had started 'Jode Maro Andolan' (beat up with shoes) against Congress's Mani Shankar Iyer over his comments against Savarkar, I appeal that similar protests should start against Rahul and his yatra stopped in the state".
On the eve of the anniversary of Bal Thackeray's death, Shewale made the demand of Shinde and Fadnavis during a lecture series at Dadar's Veer Savarkar Memorial hall.