Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party promised in its election manifesto for the Maharashtra Assembly elections that it will honour Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar with the Bharat Ratna, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asadduddin Owaisi hit back at the saffron party suggesting that the honour should be conferred upon Nathuram Godse as well. Referring to Kapoor Commission, the Owaisi said that the panel which was probing the conspiracy to murder Mahatma Gandhi "had found Savarkar as one of the conspirators", India Today reported.
Speaking to the channel he said, "Mahatma Gandhi is our father of the nation. After his assassination, the court awarded punishments for Nathuram Godse and other conspirators. The report by Justice Kapoor Commission found Savarkar to be among conspirators. How can you even speak of honouring him with such a huge honour? Then you give the same to Godse as well ".
"Will you now throw the inquiry report in the dustbin. If you want to give it to somebody then give it to Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi, who spent years in jail too, never requested for pardon and was hanged," Owaisi said.
The AIMIM is not the only political party taking potshots at the BJP over its proposal to confer the Bharat Ratna upon Savarkar. Congress has also questioned the BJP’s move based on the same report. Addressing a press conference in the national capital on Wednesday, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said
Savarkar had faced criminal trial in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.
"If on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, this government considers any such thing (giving Bharat Ratna to Savarkar), then all I want to say is that God save this country," Tewari said.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also slammed the government’s move saying, "There are two aspects of his life, his participation in the independence struggle and when he came back after seeking an apology. His name was also registered in the conspiracy behind Mahatma Gandhi’s murder".
On Wednesday, while addressing an election rally in Vidarbha, PM Narendra Modi also touched upon BJP’s proposed move to bestow the nation’s highest civilian award upon Savarkar, saying, "Veer Savarkar was deprived of Bharat Ratna. It is due to his values that we put nationalism as the basis for nation-building."