Maharashtra: MVA alliance on the brink after Rahuls Savarkar remark?

Maharashtra: MVA alliance on the brink after Rahul's Savarkar remark?

The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) has hinted that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s attacks on Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar may eventually dent the political relationship between the two parties which along with the NCP are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance in Maharashtra.

Rahul, whose Bharat Jodo Yatra is currently on its Maharashtra leg, during a function held in the memory of tribal leader Birsa Munda in Mahim on Tuesday (November 15) had compared him with Savarkar. He said while Birsa Munda was brave enough to lay down his life for the country, Savarkar had betrayed his comrades and begged for his life before the British.

Also read: ‘Am not Rahul Savarkar, will never apologise for speaking truth’

“Despite the British offering him land, (Birsa Munda) refused to bow down; he chose death. We, the Congress party, consider him our idol. For the BJP and RSS, Savarkarji, who wrote mercy petitions to the British and accepted pension, is an idol,” Rahul had said.

After Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray condemned his remarks, Rahul in a press conference on Thursday (November 17) showed reporters a letter, which he claimed was the mercy petition 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 VD Savarkar,” Rahul said.

Responding to the Congress leader’s remarks, Sena (UBT) chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said Rahul’s statements against Savarkar, an idol of right-wing parties including the erstwhile Sena, will cause cracks and bitterness in the MVA alliance if not break it.

“What Rahul Gandhi said about Veer Savarkar will cause cracks in the MVA alliance,” Raut told a well-known publication.

Also read: ‘Bulbul flight’: Textbook chapter on Savarkar makes Karnataka govt blush

Raut said Rahul’s walkathon is gaining a lot of reception, especially in Maharashtra and he could have spared using Savarkar to rake up a controversy.

“Rahul Gandhi has made his point clear for the umpteenth time. He has in the past repeatedly said that Savarkar had sought mercy from the British…When he has already publicly made this point at his rallies and press conferences, where is the need for him to go on repeating the same? When he is talking of ending the hate mongering in the country, why is he targeting Savarkar again and again?” Raut said.

The Shiv Sena (UBT), like its former ally the BJP, heavily relies on Hindutva politics and looks up to Savarkar as an icon. Raut said the party will continue to idolise him and thus does not endorse the statements of Rahul.

Also read: Veer Savarkar had sown seed of Partition: Chhattisgarh CM on BJP blaming Congress

“Our party chief Uddhav Thackeray made it clear yesterday that we love, admire and have immense faith in Savarkar. We, therefore, do not agree with Rahul Gandhi’s views,” he told the publication.

Raut, however, took a dig at the BJP, accusing it of using Savarkar’s name for political gains. He asked why the BJP-led central government was dragging its feet on awarding the Bharat Ratna to Savarkar despite being in power for eight years.

Also read: BJP targets Siddaramaiah as ‘Savarkar Chariot’ makes its way across districts

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