Savarkar row: Maha Oppn seeks Rahul's apology, targets CM
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party legislators on Monday continued to protest outside the Maharashtra legislature, demanding an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on Vinayak Damodar alias 'Veer' Savarkar.
Ensuring that the first day of the legislature's Winter Session began on a stormy note, the BJP also targeted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for his stand on the issue, terming as his "helplessness" to save his government from collapsing.
When Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis raised the matter in the assembly, it was not taken on record by Speaker Nana Patole.
Opposing the move, Fadnavis asked: "Is this the British Raj assembly or Independent India's legislature? Why our sentiments on Veer Savarkar cannot go on record?"
He also questioned why the CM and Shiv Sena were silent on this and wondered how the Opposition in Maharashtra could be prevented from speaking on Savarkar like this.
Earlier, sporting saffron coloured Gandhi caps bearing the legend - 'Mee Pan Savarkar' (I am Savarkar) - the BJP members arrived in the legislature, raising slogans demanding that Gandhi should say "sorry" for his controversial remarks on Saturday which sparked off a major furore among the BJP circles.
Led by state party chief Chandrakant Patil, Fadnavis, ex-Speaker Haribhau Bagade, and former ministers, they chanted "Savarkarji ke samaan mein, BJP maidan mein" and carried black banners with pictures of Savarkar, and placards against Gandhi's utterances.
In a related development, BJP activists organised protests in Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashil and other places in the state to condemn Gandhi's statements and burnt his pictures and effigies.
Meanwhile, predicting a "major political earthquake" in Maharashtra, Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale also slammed Gandhi and said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress will not survive for long in view of these ideological contradictions.IANS