NEW DELHI – The Congress on Tuesday expressed its shock over the ruling party BJP’s demand for the Bharat Ratna to be awarded to controversial Hindutva leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election.
“I am shocked that on one hand the BJP is praising Mahatma Gandhi and on the other is demanding Bharat Ratna for Savarkar. In a country where Mahatma Gandhi is made to commit sucide in textbooks, then anything can be possible. On a more serious note, though Savarkar was chargesheeted for Mahatma’s murder, it is correct that he was acquitted,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari was quoted by IANS as saying.
The BJP poll manifesto released jointly by Working President J.P. Nadda and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanded that the BJP-led NDA government confer the Bharat Ratna – the nation’s highest civilian honour – on Hindu Mahasabha founder Veer Savarkar.
The BJP has tried to appease Maratha community by demanding the nation’s highest civilian for Savarkar. They also tried to attract Dalits as the Bharat Ratna has also been demanded for social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitri Bai Phule as well.
The BJP has also promised to create 1 crore jobs in the next five years and make Maharashtra a 1 trillion-dollar economy.
However, criticising the manifesto, Tiwari questioned the PMC Bank scam and death of one of its depositors, saying “The public has come to the conclusion that their money is not safe in the banks.”
The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly goes to polls on October 21 and counting of votes will take place on October 24.