A day after the BJP targeted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for silence over the criticism of VD Savarkar by the Congress, the Shiv Sena retaliated on Monday and asked why the BJP had not given the Bharat Ratna to the former Hindutva thinker so far. The Congress is an ally of the Shiv Sena in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Rajya. The Nationalist Congress Party is the third ally in this coalition.
Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters that the country’s highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna should be given to Savarkar, a “great and Hindutva leader”. On Sunday, during the Shiv Sena’s annual Dussehra rally, party president Uddhav Thackeray gave his address at Savarkar Hall in Dadar area here instead of the huge Shivaji Park because of the Kovid-19 situation.
State BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhyay later accused the ruling party of compromising Hindutva for power. Upadhyay said, “Uddhav Thackeray did not say a word on the criticism of Savarkar by the Congress and now he had to address the Dussehra rally from Savarkar auditorium.” Reacting to his remarks, Raut said on Monday that the Shiv Sena “has never been silent on issues related to Savarkar and will never do so.”
Without naming the BJP, Raut said that the party should probe the history of Shiv Sena’s stand on Savarkar. The Rajya Sabha member said, “Veer Savarkar has always been an inspiration to Shiv Sena and Hindutva. Those who are questioning us… Why don’t they give Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar? ”
Raut wanted to know, “You have given this award to many people in governance for the last six years. What was your problem in awarding Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar? ” After the assembly elections in Maharashtra last year, Shiv Sena quit the BJP, its long-time ally in the state. The move was taken after the Shiv Sena did not have an opinion on the issue of sharing power and alternately assuming the post of chief minister.