Mumbai: Sanjay Raut, key leader of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena, on Friday said there was no reason for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to comment on freedom fighter V D Savarkar, and this could lead to cracks in the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Talking to reporters, Raut said any defamatory remarks against Savarkar were unacceptable to the Shiv Sena.
He said Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is getting good response all over the country, mostly in Maharashtra..
“There was no reason to raise the issue of Veer Savarkar. This could lead to cracks in the MVA because we idolise Veer Savarkar,” he said.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Gandhi, during a press conference at Wadegaon in Akola district on Thursday, alleged that Savarkar had helped the British and written a mercy petition to them out of fear. Two days earlier, he had made similar remarks.
Gandhi’s consistent attacks on Savarkar put Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena in a spot.
“This (Gandhi’s comments) has not only impacted the Shiv Sena, but also some of the Congress leaders in Maharashtra. People in Maharashtra, and a large section of people in the country have respect for Veer Savarkar,” Raut further said.
Instead of raking up history, Gandhi should create new history, the Sena leader said.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday defended Gandhi, saying that he did not target Hindutva ideologue Savarkar but only highlighted a “historical fact’. He also maintained that this will not impact the MVA alliance.
Raut, meanwhile, also targeted the Bharatiya Janta Party, dubbing it as “fake Hindutvawadis” for not conferring Bharat Ratna on Savarkar.
“Savarkar was never an ideal for the RSS and the BJP,” Raut said.