MUMBAI: Leading the Veer Savarkar Gaurav Yatra in his hometown Thane on Sunday, chief minister Eknath Shinde said the procession was an answer to those insulting the late Hindutva ideologue. Deriding Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, Shinde asked if he had the courage to hit Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with a slipper just like the late Sena founder Bal Thackeray, who had hit an effigy of Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, with a footwear for ‘insulting’ Savarkar in 2004.
Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar also challenged Thackeray to get an apology from Rahul and said he must break the alliance with Congress.
Hordes of people, wearing saffron caps and scarves, participated in BJP-Shiv Sena’s Savarkar gaurav yatras held across the city. “Through the yatras, we are giving a message that no one will tolerate the insult of Veer Savarkar in the country,” said Shinde. “You will see a small glimpse of it today in the gaurav yatra in Thane…BJP and Shiv Sena have taken out the yatras to convey Savarkar’s thoughts to every household.”
The CM added: “Savarkar’s patriotism…is a matter of pride for every countryman, but he is constantly being insulted…Will they [Sena UBT] even show courage to condemn Rahul Gandhi?”
Last month, while addressing the media after being disqualified from the Lok Sabha and amid BJP’s demands for an apology for the ‘Modi surname’ remark, for which he was convicted for criminal defamation and sentenced to two years’ jail by a Surat court, Rahul had said: “My name is not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi and Gandhi does not offer an apology to anyone.”
Source: The Times of India