MVA plays BJP's Savarkar Bharat Ratna googly with a straight bat

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in a bid to expose division among the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) partners- Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, has strongly proposed to move a resolution in the ensuing budget session recommending the Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar.

BJP wants the legislature to pass the resolution so that the Centre can soon take a decision. The proposal was on Monday mooted by the leader of opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis in the Business Advisory Committee meeting which decided the schedule for the budget session beginning February 24.

Former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the party wants to move the resolution recommending Bharat Ratna to Savarkar while recognising his contribution to the country. BJP is determined to pit the three ruling partners against each other on Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar.

However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and alliance partners at the meeting rejected BJP's proposal saying that let the assembly speaker Nana Patole use his discretion whether or not to take up resolution in the budget session.

Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu alleged that BJP wanted to politicise the issue. Shiv Sena has no objection for moving resolution to recognize Savarkar's work and recommend Bharat Ratna. Shiv Sena had demanded it in the past. ''Even though BJP is heading the government at the Centre, it has not given Bharat Ratna to Savarkar. Further, BJP headed the government in Maharashtra too. Who had stopped BJP from moving resolution in this regard?'' he asked.

On other hand, Minister of OBC Vijay Wadettiwar alleged that it was BJP's move to divert attention from the politically sensitive issue of reservation in the government jobs. He asked, ''Why should the treasury bench support BJP's resolution?"

BJP was at the receiving end after opposition parties demanded that the government should challenge the judgement delivered last week by Supreme Court saying that quotas and reservations for promotions for government jobs is not a fundamental right.

BJP's move to corner MVA partners comes close on the heels of recent controversy over the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's statement that he "will die but never apologize " for speaking the "truth" as he is a Gandhi and not a Savarkar.

Further, a controversial booklet on Veer Savarkar and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) released in the All India Congress Seva Dal training camp in Bhopal last month had claimed that the Hindu Mahasabha co-founder (Savarkar) had a physical relationship with Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.

BJP had slammed Congress party on both occasions. Fadnavis had said, "Maharashtra and the country will never tolerate the insult to Savarkar ji." He also targeted Shiv Sena saying, "The kind of people Shiv Sena has to deal with to remain in power is very clear. Earlier, Shiv Sena used to react very sharply, why have they gone soft now? This is the question which I would like to pose to Shiv Sena."

Incidentally, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut commented that Savarkar, too, laid down his life for the country like Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. He noted that Rahul Gandhi's statement was "extremely unfortunate".

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal