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Fadnavis defends PM, says Bofors "scandal" was a reality

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday said former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was a martyr, but maintained nobody can deny the reality of the Bofors "scandal" in the country.

Fadnavis was responding to a query related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark on Rajiv Gandhi at a poll rally last week in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

Targeting Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Modi had said "Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrastachari number 1' (corrupt number 1)".

"Why we (the BJP) would not consider him a martyr?" he told reporters replying to a query related to Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991.

"The Prime Minister has expressed the reality. Nobody can deny the reality of Bofors scandal in the country. The skeletons of this scandal are still tumbling out of the cupboard," the Maharashtra CM said.

About Maharashtra politics, he said though his party BJP and the Shiv Sena were not on good terms for sometime, they were bound by Hindutva.

"When the so called secular parties have joined hands to unseat Modi, why the BJP and the Sena should not align?" he asked.