On Wednesday (March 29), Sanjay Raut, a leader of Shiv Sena (UBT), met with former Congress presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and indicated that the controversy surrounding V D Savarkar had ended by saying “everything is fine.”
The Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena was upset over Rahul Gandhi’s strident attack of Savarkar, a revolutionary leader revered in Maharashtra, leading to friction in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition with the Congress and NCP in the state.
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NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had asked Rahul Gandhi to tone down the criticism of Savarkar and reminded the Congress leader that the real fight of the opposition parties was with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
“Met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Many important issues were discussed. Everything is fine. There is nothing to worry,” Raut said on Twitter.
Raut had spoken with Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday after the intervention by Pawar.
“The opposition is united in Maharashtra as well as in the country,” Raut said to questions about opposition unity in Maharashtra.
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On Tuesday, Raut said he had raised the Savarkar issue in his talks with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi and MVA partners are on the same page on this matter.
“MVA alliance is intact. If anyone thinks the MVA will break apart, they are wrong,” Raut said.
Gandhi is learnt to have assured Raut he would avoid any critical reference to Savarkar.
Pawar raised the issue during a meeting of opposition leaders convened by Kharge on Monday and made it clear that targeting Savarkar would not help the MVA.
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As the BJP stepped up attack on Rahul Gandhi and sought his apology for “maligning” India on his recent visit to the UK, the former Lok Sabha member from Wayanad said at a press conference on Saturday that he was not Savarkar and would not apologise.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had slammed Gandhi for his attack on Savarkar and said his outfit will not tolerate any insult of the freedom fighter.
The Thackeray faction had skipped the meeting convened by Kharge as a mark of protest against Gandhi’s remarks targeting Savarkar.