Rahul Gandhi to face 2nd defamation case? Maha CM bristles over Savarkar remark

Mar 25, 2023 05:25 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi has often targeted late Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, saying that he helped the British rulers and wrote a mercy petition to them out of fear.

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for “defaming” late Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, demanding action against the former Lok Sabha member. Speaking in state assembly, which witnessed pandemonium on Friday over ruling party legislators hitting Rahul Gandhi’s poster with chappals – they were protesting against Gandhi's four-month remarks on Savarkar – Shinde said the Congress leader defamed a man “who is not Maharashtra's deity but is an idol for the whole country.” (Also Read | On Rahul Gandhi row, Prashant Kishor recalls Vajpayee's words: ‘chhote mann se…')

Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde speaks in state assembly.
Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde speaks in state assembly.

“Any criticism of Rahul Gandhi will be lesser for his this deed,” he added.

In November last year, Gandhi, during his Maharashtra leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, said that Savarkar would write mercy petitions to be freed from the Andaman cellular jail and also accepted a pension from the British. He also claimed that Savarkar had helped the British government during the freedom struggle.

On Saturday, Gandhi again took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological fountainhead RSS when asked could have escaped the conviction and prison sentence had he apologised for his remarks.

“My name in not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi. Gandhis don't apologise to anyone,” the ex-Wayanad MP told reporters at a press briefing in Congress headquarters in New Delhi.

A lower court in Surat convicted Gandhi for a 2019 speech in which he asked, “Why do all thieves have Modi as their surname?” Gandhi had referred to three three well-known and unrelated Modis -- fugitive Indian diamond tycoon Nirav Modi; Lalit Modi, a cricket executive banned from the Indian Premier League (IPL); and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The court convicted him under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which provides for imprisonment of up to two years, and later released him on bail. The court also suspended the sentence for 30 days on Gandhi’s plea to allow him appeal against the ruling.

Replying to a debate on the Opposition sponsored "Last Week" resolution in the Legislative Assembly, the chief minister Gandhi has insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the OBC community and Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar and should be "punished".

“Rahul Gandhi has been convicted and stands automatically disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha. But he continues to insult V D Savarkar by saying that he is not Savarkar to apologise. Who does he think he is? He must be punished,” Shinde said in assembly.

Stepping up his attack against Rahul Gandhi, Shinde alleged the former Congress chief has not only criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi but has defamed the entire OBC community.

“He is continuing to speak in the same tone and I want to tell him that if he continues to do so, it will be difficult for him to walk on the road,” he warned.

Exciting news! Hindustan Times is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!
Get Latest India News along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals