Buldhana: The furore over Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against Hindutva icon VD Savarkar notwithstanding, AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said the Congress party will continue speaking the ”truth” about leaders of BJP and RSS.
Addressing a press conference on the last day of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Maharashtra, Ramesh also said Congress will stop talking the truth about leaders of BJP and RSS the day they stop spreading lies about Congress leaders.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had stirred a row during the Maharashtra leg of Yatra by saying that Savarkar had helped the British rulers and wrote a mercy petition to them from jail out of fear.
He had also called the freedom fighter a symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Congress party will continue speaking the truth about BJP-RSS leaders. The Congress will stop talking the truth about leaders of BJP and RSS the day they stop speaking lies about Congress leaders,” Ramesh said.
Speaking at the presser, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said Gandhi had drawn the comparison between tribal leader Birsa Munda and Savarkar’s ideology while dealing with the British.
“This is an ideological comparison. Rahul Gandhi did not wish to create controversy. But the BJP wanted to divert attention. Rahul Gandhi had even shown documentary evidence of the mercy petition. Those questioning Rahul Gandhi should first reply to the evidence and why Savarkar was getting a pension from the British,” he said.
The BJP has been targeting India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru over the Kashmir issue and the Partition of the country.
Amid the controversy over Gandhi’s remarks, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday said Savarkar, Nehru or any other freedom fighter should not be maligned as they do not belong to any political party, days after he warned of a rift in the Maha Vikas Aghadi over the issue.
Raut in a Sunday write-up in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said the positive energy generated due to the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ has been undone due to the remarks against Savarkar. He also said Gandhi had given an issue on a platter to the BJP to divert attention.
“Savarkar had endured over 10 years of rigorous imprisonment in the Andaman jail and his letters to the British for his release was a strategic move and not surrender or seeking mercy,” he wrote.