Ranjit Savarkar, grandson of Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar, on Friday said that he will file a defamation case of Rs 100 crore against the Congress party for publishing articles critical of the freedom fighter. Ranjit also made an appeal to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take action in the matter. Uddhav heads the alliance government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
"Maharashtra Congress has published articles against Savarkar to assassinate his character. I appeal to the Chief Minister to take action. We have lodged two cases and will file a defamation suit of Rs 100 crore against Congress in Bombay High Court," Ranjit told news agency ANI.
The Congress party published articles critical of Savarkar in Shidori, a Marathi magazine of the Maharashtra Congress. The articles triggered a row with the BJP demanding a ban on the publication. The saffron party has accused the Congress of carrying malicious content and demanded an apology from the party.
Defending the articles, the Congress alleged that the contents of two articles are based on facts and there is no question of withdrawing them.
Former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis attacked the Shiv Sena and asked Uddhav to clear his stand on the anti-Savarkar articles. Fadnavis headed an alliance government of the BJP and Shiv Sena for five years (2014 to 2019). "The Uddhav Thackeray-led party should answer how many insults it can tolerate by its ruling alliance partner," he said.
Meanwhile, NCP leader Supriya Sule defended Congress saying the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi is not repressive. "The MVA government is not repressive. Unlike the Fadnavis government, it does not suppress people’s voice," she said.
When asked specifically about Fadnavis’ demand for banning the magazine, she said, "He has all the right to express his views. This only shows that under the present government people can express themselves freely and their views are not repressed."
The tussle between the BJP and the Congress over the write-ups on Savarkar puts the Shiv Sena, which had demanded a Bharat Ratna for Savarkar ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, in a tight spot.