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Uproar in Maharashtra Assembly over honouring Savarkar


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Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday witnessed uproar over honouring Hindu Mahasabha leader VD Savarkar with the BJP demanding a resolution in the Assembly to honour Savarkar while the ruling Shiv Sena and NCP demanding Bharat Ratna for the leader.
The BJP legislators created a noise after Speaker Nana Patole rejected the party's demand to have a discussion over the resolution to honour Savarkar.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that the state government must move a resolution in the house to honour Savarkar.
"Looking at the freedom struggle, sacrifices and nationalism of Veer Savarkar, it is time to honour him in the state assembly through a resolution. The government must move a resolution in the house for the same and have a detailed discussion about it. For the last few days, it has been seen that various leaders are making objectionable comments against Veer Savarkar," he said.
"A magazine, which is managed by Congress party named 'Shidori' has mentioned that Veer Savarkar was a rapist and he was 'mafi veer' (one who apologised). These comments are very shameful so this magazine should be banned immediately," the former chief minister said.
Commenting over the BJP's demand, Shiv Sena leader and state cabinet minister Anil Parab said that the central government must give Bharat Ratna to Savarkar first, and then the state government will consider passing a resolution in the Assembly.
"When BJP was in power and Devendra Fadnavis was Chief Minister of Maharashtra, then two letters were written to the Centre demanding Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar. But Bharat Ratna is not yet given to Savarkar. This is real disrespect to Maharashtra," he said.
"The central government must give Bharat Ratna to Savarkar first then we will consider the demand for resolution in the Assembly. BJP failed to give Bharat Ratna till now in spite of having a majority in at the Centre," Parab said.
Responding to this, Fadnavis said that the Bharat Ratna will be given to Savarkar at the right time.
Savarkar's legacy is marred by a series of letters he wrote to the British authorities from the Cellular Jail in the Andamans, seeking apology for his actions in the freedom struggle against the colonial rule and vowing to remain a loyal subject of the queen thereafter.
Savarkar was subsequently released from the Cellular Jail. He was also booked for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948, but was let off by the court, with certain restrictions on him, for want of concrete evidence.
Speaking on the matter oN Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar too demanded to give India's highest civilian award to Savarkar.
"Veer Savarkar was a nationalist. There is no doubt about his service to the nation. I don't understand what politics BJP is trying to play on this. Modi is the Prime Minister and there was a BJP CM in the previous government but they couldn't give Bharat Ratna to Savarkar. We all together should try to give Bharat Ratna first to Savarkar and end this issue," he said.
Speaking to reporters, Shiv Sena leader and Minister Aditya Thackeray said: "BJP is trying to politicise this whole issue by raising it in Maharashtra Assembly. During demonetisation, they did not ask anyone about it, then why are they waiting for someone to tell them to give Bharat Ratna to Savarkar? They should have done it till now," he said.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 7:21 PM IST

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