Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (October 16) said that Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s “sanskar” (values) are the basis for nation-building.
His remarks came a day after Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Maharashtra unit sought Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, for Savarkar in its manifesto for the October 21 Maharashtra polls.
Addressing an election rally in Akola district, Modi also rued that Babasaheb Ambedkar was denied the Bharat Ratna. “It is due to Savarkar’s sanskar (values) that we put nationalism as the basis for nation-building,” Modi said.
Terming the opposition parties as “shameless”, he slammed them for objecting to the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir being raised during campaigning by BJP leaders for the Maharashtra Assembly polls. “For political gains, some are openly saying that Article 370 has nothing to do with Maharashtra Assembly polls, that Jammu and Kashmir has nothing to do with Maharashtra. I want to tell such people that J&K and its people are also sons of Maa Bharti,” he said.
“How dare they question (abrogation of) Article 370 and ask how is it connected to Maharashtra polls?” Modi said. He dubbed the Congress-NCP alliance as a “bhrashtwadi yuti” (corrupt coalition), which took Maharashtra backward by a decade.
“At one time, there were regular incidents of terrorism and hatred in Maharashtra. The culprits got away and settled in different countries. India wants to ask the people who were in power then, how did all of this happen? How did they escape?” he said, slamming the Congress-NCP combine.