Eknath Shinde Attacks Uddhav Thackeray Over Rahul Gandhi’s Savarkar Remark


Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday targeted Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray over Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on late Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar.

Mr Shinde also said the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party will hold a ‘Savarkar Gaurav Yatra’ across the state.

Mr Shinde, who was addressing reporters alongside Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, asked Thackeray to show “courage” to oppose these remarks.

Mr Shinde said the Thackeray-led outfit had crossed all limits when they joined the Congress in opposing Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as Lok Sabha MP last week.

Gandhi was disqualified on March 24 after a court in Surat in Gujarat sentenced him to two years in jail in a defamation case.

“What are you (Thackeray) going to do when you say you are not going to tolerate Savarkar’s insult. You need to show that courage,” Mr Shinde told reporters.

Mr Shinde said Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray had launched a “joda mara abhiyaan” (hitting with slippers) in 2004 against the then Union minister and Congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar for his remarks against Savarkar.

“Those talking about Hindutva, their MLAs saying we will not tolerate Savarkar’s insult were quiet for (the sake of) politics and Maha Vikas Aghadi. This is their double standards,” Mr Shinde alleged.

At a rally on Sunday, Thackeray said he considered Savarkar as his “idol”, and had asked Gandhi to refrain from “insulting” him.

“By making defamatory statements against Savarkar, the sympathy gained by Rahul Gandhi will start ebbing. This will, for sure, put the Maharashtra Congress in a uncomfortable position,” an editorial in Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ had said on Monday.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

To become like Savarkar, one needs to sacrifice and have love for the country, Mr Shinde said.

Mr Shinde also dubbed Gandhi’s criticism in the United Kingdom of the Narendra Modi government as treason.

Gandhi had criticised the country and it democracy there, Mr Shinde alleged.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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