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Fadnavis slams Shiv Sena over rejection of Savarkar resolution

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Press Trust of India Mumbai
With the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker on Wednesday rejecting the BJP's demand for a government resolution honouring Hindutva icon V D Savarkar, senior leader Devendra Fadnavis launched a frontal attack on the Shiv Sena, calling it "laachar" (helpless) for power.
The BJP had demanded the resolution commemorating the death anniversary of Savarkar on Wednesday.
"The BJP also wanted ban on Congress magazine 'Shidori' for terming Savarkar as a 'maafiveer' (mercy-seeker) and not 'Swantryaveer' (freedom fighter)", Fadnavis said.
The magazine had also published objectionable content, saying Savarkar was punished for rape, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly said.
Earlier, Fadnavis tore a copy of the magazine in the Lower House.
"Unfortunately, I have never seen such a 'laachar' Shiv Sena before this," Fadnavis told reporters outside the state legislature building, after the resolution was rejected.
He recalled how late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had hit with shoes the banner (carrying image) of Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for insulting Savarkar.
The Shiv Sena in August 2004 launched "Jode Mara" (hit with footwear) agitation to condemn Aiyar and the Congress after his purported act of removing the plaque containing Savarkar's quotes at the Cellular Jail in Andaman triggered a controversy.
Bal Thackeray himself had kick-started the agitation by hitting the effigy of Aiyar, then petroleum minister in the UPA government at the Centre, with footwear.
"But his son, Uddhav Thackeray who is chief minister now, is sitting next to those whose mouthpiece called Savarkar a rapist," Fadnavis said.
The Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, shares power in Maharashtra with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress.
Fadnavis further said Maharashtra will not tolerate insult of Savarkar, and that the BJP will raise the issue with the people.
He and another senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar also raised the photo frame of Savarkar hailing the Hindutva leader.
A Congress affiliate in Madhya Pradesh had last month distributed a Hindi booklet, titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?", which had some controversial references regarding Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse.
Later, speaking at an event organised by the BJP to mark Savarkar's death anniversary, Fadnavis launched a fresh attack on his former ally.
The Shiv Sena chants the name of Savarkar, but it has joined forces with the Congress whose magazine has allegedly made objectionable remarks about the late leader, the former chief minister said.
"It did not even condemn the comments made about Savarkar. Can there be bigger helplessness than this?" he asked.
Without naming any party, Fadnavis further said that Hindutva is being disowned nowadays.
"But the history of the country has told (us) that Hindu never attacked anyone. Hindutva means tolerance. But it is a stupidity to consider the tolerance of Hindus as their weakness.
"The soul of the country is Hindutva. Hindutva is not mere religion, but soul of the country...No matter how much one disowns Hindutva for power.
"No matter how much one disowns Hindutva, none can set afire the soul of the country and that soul is Hindutva," he said.
Fadnavis alleged that efforts are being made to weaken the country as he referred to the nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
"And at such a time when people are trying to weaken the country, it needs the ideology of Savarkar and his Hindutva," Fadnavis added.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 9:12 PM IST

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