New Delhi: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray on Sunday (November 27, 2022) slammed Rahul Gandhi for speaking against VD Savarkar and asked if the Congress leader has the “stature” to talk ill about the Hindutva ideologue. Gandhi had recently courted controversy by claiming that Savarkar had written mercy petitions to the British from the Andaman cellular jail. He had also said that Savarkar was a mascot of the BJP and the RSS.
“Does Rahul Gandhi have the stature to talk ill about Savarkar who was sentenced to 50 years of rigorous imprisonment? There is something called strategy to come out of prison. How can it be termed as surrender or mercy?” Thackeray asked.
माझं काँग्रेस आणि भाजपा ह्या दोन्ही पक्षांना आवाहन आहे… सावरकर, नेहरू, टिळक ह्यांची बदनामी थांबवा. ह्यातून काय साध्य होतं? बस्स, झालं आता. ह्या देशासमोर आजचे जे ज्वलंत प्रश्न उभे आहेत त्यावर लक्ष देऊया. pic.twitter.com/JQRjvk0D9M
— Raj Thackeray (@RajThackeray) November 27, 2022
When the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra was in Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that Savarkar helped the British and written a mercy petition out of fear. Gandhi had also shown some old documents during a press conference claiming they contained a letter written by Savarkar to the British.
“I will read the last line, which says ‘I beg to remain your most obedient servant’ and is signed by V D Savarkar, which shows he helped the British,” he had said.
His statements, however, had invited criticism from leaders of the BJP and the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).
Meanwhile, Raj Thackeray asked the Congress and BJP to stop maligning national icons like Savarkar and Jawaharlal Nehru and instead focus on important issues facing the country.
Addressing party workers at a convention in Mumbai, Thackeray said criticising national heroes who fought for Independence was unwarranted as everyone has “positive and negative aspects”.
“The BJP has been maligning Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and this should stop. There are important issues facing the country which should be addressed to. You will not benefit by criticising national heroes who had fought for Independence. Everyone has positive and negative aspects. There is no need to highlight the negative side now,” he said.