Press Trust of india

Neither Savarkar nor Nehru should be targeted: Sanjay Raut

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Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday said V D Savarkar, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru or any other freedom fighter should not be maligned as they are not alive to defend themselves.

There is no need to counter derogatory comments against Savarkar by targeting Nehru or any other historical personality, he added.

Raut was speaking to reporters here a day after making the stand of the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena clear that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi need not have made his controversial comments about Savarkar.

It could affect the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, he had said.

“Attempts to besmirch the reputations of both Pandit Nehru and Savarkar must stop. Freedom fighters who made sacrifices for the country’s independence do not belong to any ideology or political party,” the Rajya Sabha member said on Saturday.

“Savarkar and all other freedom fighters are respectable to us,” he said, adding these leaders are not alive and therefore can not defend themselves now.

“Just because someone badmouths Savarkar, it doesn’t mean you speak negatively about Nehru,” the Sena leader added.

He also said that as the first prime minister of the country, Nehru took India on the path of development by embracing Savarkar’s “scientific temper”.

“Otherwise, India would have become another Pakistan….India will be forever indebted to Nehru for that,” he said.

Notably, despite Raut on Friday making his party’s displeasure clear, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole on Saturday said those criticising Rahul Gandhi should first explain `why the Hindutva ideologue was getting Rs 60 pension from the British’.

Gandhi kicked up a row earlier this week during the Maharashtra leg of his Bharat Jodo Yatra by claiming that Savarkar had helped the British and wrote a mercy petition to them out of fear.

The BJP, former ally of Uddhav Thackeray’s party, sought to corner the Sena faction led by Thackeray over Rahul’s remarks.



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