Hitting out at the BJP after its Maharashtra demanded Bharat Ratna award for Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the Congress on Wednesday said that if the ruling government considers it after celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, then “God save the country”. The opposition party’s jeering response came after the election manifesto of Maharshtra BJP, released on Wednesday, said the party will ask the NDA government at the Centre to bestow India’s highest civilian award on Savarkar.
“In a country where Mahatma Gandhi is being made to commit suicide in examinations, anything is possible, ” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said in a press conference, referring to the question in the internal assessment examination of some schools in Gujarat.
Savarkar had faced criminal trial in the murder of the father of the nation, but he was later acquitted. The Congress spokesperson cited an article which stated the facts that indicated that Veer Savarkar and his group had conspired to kill Gandhiji.
“If on 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, this government considers any such thing , than all I want to say is God save the country”, said Manish Tewari.
Asked if there was a contradiction between the recent praise for Gandhi by RSS head-honcho Mohan Bhagwat and the demand for Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar. Tewari alleged that it was well-planned strategy to keep praising Mahatma Gandhi on one side and to demand Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar.
In its election manifesto released by the president of BJP, JP Nadda, the party’s state also sought the honor for social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.
Many BJP leaders consider Savrakar as their inspiration although he was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha and not the RSS (Rashtriya Swaymasevak Sangh), the parent of the ruling government.