An NGO distributed notebooks with Veer Savarkar’s photo and brief sketch on his life among students in the school in Malwasa in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh.(HT Photos)
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Savarkar portrait in UP Legislative Council picture gallery sparks row

  • The Legislative Council chairman has asked the principal secretary to submit a report on the issue within seven days after a Congress member objected to the installation of Savarkar’s portrait in the Council picture gallery.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 11:50 PM IST

A political controversy erupted here after the installation of a portrait of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the picture gallery of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.

While the Opposition demanded removal of the portrait, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the Opposition parties were politicking on the issue instead of taking inspiration from Savarkar’s life.

Legislative Council chairman Ramesh Yadav said Congress MLC Deepak Singh had objected to the installation of Savarkar’s portrait in the Council picture gallery.

“Acting on the objection of a member, I have directed the principal secretary, Legislative Council, to submit a report on the issue within seven days,” he said.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, in a programme organised on Tuesday, had dedicated the renovated and beautified Legislative Council to the public. He had also inaugurated the picture gallery consisting of portraits of freedom fighters, chairpersons of the Council and name plates of the current members.

Looking at Savarkar’s portrait, the chief minister said, “He was a great freedom fighter and philosopher whose personality was a source of inspiration for every Indian.”

Objecting to Savarkar’s portrait, the Congress lawmaker said, “It was an insult to the freedom fighters, who did not bow to atrocities of the British. They laid down their lives fighting for the freedom of the country.”

He said the portrait should be removed and placed in the BJP office.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said there should be a debate on what Savarkar contributed 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 on his role in the freedom struggle,” Yadav said.

BJP state unit spokesperson Chandramohan said, “The life and struggle of Savrakar is an inspiration for the people across the country. The Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders are indulging in politics to serve their vested political interests. Both the Congress and Samajwadi Party indulged in dynasty politics.”

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