Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who sees himself as the architect of the self-serving MVA alliance and also as a ‘sutradhar’ of Opposition unity, has advised the Gandhis (read Rahul) that they must not criticise Vinayak Damodar Savarkar henceforth. Pawar raised the matter during a meeting of opposition leaders at a dinner hosted by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday evening.
Pawar advised Rahul not to criticise Savarkar
Significantly, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena had boycotted the meeting.
Pawar reportedly told Rahul that he should not step on the fault line and criticise Savarkar who is a much revered figure in Maharashtra, as it will not be conducive for the MVA alliance in the state.
Pawar also pointed out that Savarkar was never a member of the RSS and reminded the Gandhi scion that the alliance's real fight is with the BJP and PM Narendra Modi. It was, therefore, not wise to refer to the Hindutva ideologue as 'mafi veer' – an oblique reference to the ‘apology’ which Veer Savarkar supposedly tendered to extricate himself from the dreaded ‘Kaala Paani’ where he was jailed by the British.
Sanjay Raut to meet Kharge in few days
Congress Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge seemed to agree with Pawar. MP Sanjay Raut is likely to meet Kharge in the next few days now that Pawar has ironed out the irritants.
On Monday, Eknath Shinde had also targeted Rahul for asserting that he won’t apologise because he was a Gandhi, not Savarkar. Shinde had said in response, ‘‘Rahul cannot hope to become a Savarkar. You don't have the passion or the spirit of sacrifice. How can you then become one? Rahul should stay for one day in the jail, where Savarkar had stayed for 11 long years."
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