Protests in Maharashtra After Rahul Says Savarkar Wanted to be Servant of British Rulers

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During the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi has slammed Savakar accusing him of not only helping the British rulers but also signing a mercy petition “out of fear” for his release

MUMBAI – Hours after Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s comments on V.D. Savarkar, Maharashtra’s ruling Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party activists staged protests all over the state condemning his remarks.

Simultaneously, Savarkar’s grandson Ranjit Savarkar lodged a complaint with Shivaji Park Police demanding action against Gandhi for allegedly “insulting” the revolutionary Hindu ideologue, and booking state Congress chief Nana Patole.

Maha Vikas Aghadi constituent, Shiv Sena-UBT President Uddhav Thackeray washed his hands off Gandhi’s comments saying he was not in agreement with the Congress leader, but also called upon the BJP not to politicise the issue.

The Mumbai police said that they are probing the matter further before registering a first information report in the matter.

During the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi has slammed Savakar accusing him of not only helping the British rulers but also signing a mercy petition “out of fear” for his release.

Gandhi on Thursday waved and read out a letter written by the revolutionary to the British government, saying he (Savarkar) wanted to be a servant of the colonial rulers.

Citing the letter, the Congress MP said that Savarkar wrote “I beg to remain, sir, your most obedient servant” in the letter, as he was “scared” of the British rulers.

“What wrong have I said? I have only presented the historical truth. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patil and others were also jailed by the British for years but they did not secure their release by writing (such) letters to the colonial rulers,” he pointed out.

His remarks on Wednesday irked the BJP’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other leaders who hit out at Gandhi, accusing him of “distorting history” for which the people of Maharashtra would teach him a lesson.

Angered by Gandhi’s remarks, hundreds of BSS-BJP activists and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers carried out vociferous protests and demonstrations in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Nagpur, Akola and other places.

They raised slogans condemning Gandhi, blackened or kicked his photos, burnt his effigies and urged stringent action against him for the alleged slur on Savarkar. -IANS

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