Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday suggested that those opposing Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar should spend two days at the Cellular Jail in Andaman and only then they will realise Savarkar’s "sacrifice and contribution to the nation."
"Those who oppose Veer Savarkar, they may be from any ideology or party, let them stay for just two days at the cell in Andaman Cellular Jail where Savarkar was lodged. Only then will they realise his sacrifice and his contribution to the nation," news agency ANI quoted Raut as saying.
The Shiv Sena leader’s remark comes after senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan opposed Bharat Ratna for Savarkar. The Shiv Sena heads the coalition government in Maharashtra with the NCP and Congress.
"Savarkar asked for pardon from the British. In this case, if the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives him Bharat Ratna, we (Congress) will oppose it. Savarkar’s life is controversial," he had said.
Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said that his name was not "Rahul Savarkar, and he will never apologise for speaking the truth". He had said this while rejecting BJP’s demand for an apology over his ‘rape in India’ barb.
The BJP and Shiv Sena, during the campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly elections last year, had promised to confer Bharat Ratna on Savarkar. But the Shiv Sena quit the BJP-led alliance over power-sharing differences and joined the ranks with rivals the Congress and NCP to form the government.
Earlier this month, the Congress-affiliated Seva Dal distributed a book on Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, questioning his credentials as a patriot and his reputation for valour, drawing criticism from the BJP. The Hindi book, distributed at an ongoing camp of the Seva Dal in Madhya Pradesh, was titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?" (How brave was `Veer' Savarkar?).