Row over Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar’s portrait in UP Legislative Council
- A Congress MLC objected to Savarkar's portrait and termed it's inclusion in the gallery to be an insult to other freedom fighters, who he said, did not bow to the atrocities of the British during the freedom struggle.
Installation of Hinduva icon Veer Savarkar’s portrait in the picture gallery of Uttar Pradesh legislative council has sparked a political controversy with the Opposition demanding its removal and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) standing its ground and even asking the Opposition to take inspiration from Savarkar’s life instead of ‘politicking’ over his portrait.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath dedicated the renovated and beautified legislative council to the public on Tuesday. He also inaugurated its picture gallery that houses portraits of the freedom fighters and chairpersons of the council.
The chief minister looked at the newly-installed portrait of Veer Savarkar and said he was a great freedom fighter and philosopher, who was a source of inspiration for every Indian.
However, a Congress MLC was swift to object and termed the inclusion of Savarkar’s portrait in the gallery an “insult” to other freedom fighters, who he said, did not bow to the atrocities of the British and even laid down their lives for the country. He demanded that the portrait be removed and placed in the BJP office.
Legislative Council chairman and Samajwadi Party leader Ramesh Yadav said he had directed the principal secretary of the council to submit a report over the induction of the portrait within seven days following the objection raised by the Congress MLC.
The controversy continues to simmer with the SP chief and former chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, calling for a debate over Savarkar;s contribution to the freedom struggle. “All those who contributed to the freedom struggle should be honoured but there are different kinds of allegations, documents and stories that raise question marks over his (Savarkar’s) role in the freedom struggle,” Yadav said.
BJP state unit spokesperson Chandramohan shot back at the Opposition terming Savrakar’s life as an inspiration for people across the country and claimed that both Congress and the Samajwadi Party worked as dynasties and were serving their “vested” political interests by questioning Savarkar.
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