Mumbai: Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that his party has “immense respect” for V.D. Savarkar and asked why the Centre has not conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on him.
Thackeray’s remark came a day after the BJP leader and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis raised a question on Aditya Thackeray’s participation in Bharat Jodo yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Hingoli district.
Addressing a meeting of the Eknath Shinde faction legislators at Veer Savarkar Auditorium in Dadar on Wednesday, Mr. Fadnavis had said that Balasaheb Thackeray used to give befitting reply to those people who spoke against ‘Veer Savarkar’. “But now Rahul Gandhi insulted Savarkar in Hingoli and Aaditya Thackeray participated in the Yatra alongside him Forget us, but what would Balasaheb Thackeray be thinking in heaven when he saw Aditya Thackeray with Rahul Gandhi,” Mr. Fadnavis said.
Clarifying his stand on the issue, Mr Thackeray said, “I have immense respect for Swatantrya Veer Savarkar. Nobody can erase it. The people from those organisations (BJP and RSS), which did not have any relationship with the freedom struggle of the country, should not ask the question about Veer Savarkar and should not show love for Savarkar. This is ridiculous.”
The Shiv Sena (UBT) leader said the RSS, which is going to complete 100 years after two years, kept away from the freedom movement. “Therefore, the BJP leader does not have the right to speak on Veer Savarkar,” he said.
The Shiv Sena chief also pointed out that the central government did not confer Bharat Ratna to “Veer Savarkar” in the last eight years. “Why did the Prime Minister not confer Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar in last eight year?” he asked.
Mr. Thackeray reiterated said that his party disagrees with Rahul Gandhi’s statement. “When you are questioning us about Rahul Gandhi’s statement, the BJP should also have to explain why they were in power with PDP (in Jammu and Kashmir). Is the PDP patriot? Will the PDP say Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” Mr.
Thackeray asked in response to a query.
“We are supporting Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra to protect freedom, which we have got because of Savarkar and other freedom fighters. The same freedom is under threat today,” he added.