Mumbai : The BJP on Wednesday tried to corner the ruling Maha-Vikas Aghadi by demanding that the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray bring a resolution to honour Hindutva icon Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the state legislature.
Savarkar, who died this day in 1966, known as ‘Swatantryaveer Savarkar’ in Marathi language, was an Indian independence activist, politician, and writer who formulated the Hindutva philosophy.
The opposition BJP on the occasion of the death anniversary of Savarkar, donned “Mi pan Savarkar” caps when they came to the House in the morning. In Assembly, when the Speaker Nana Patole called for Question Hour, the senior BJP member and former Maharashtra minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar said remembering Swatantryaveer Savarkar on his death anniversary is equally important as are the proceedings of the House.
“This is the wish of the Shiv Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray and there is no politics in this demand. The government should not force us to bring such resolution,” Mungantiwar said.
However, Speaker Patole continued with Question Hour. The BJP’s demand for a resolution to honour Savarkar is viewed as a move to corner the Sena, which shares power in the state with ideologically incompatible NCP and Congress. The Uddhav Thackeray-headed Sena, a former ally of the BJP, has been demanding Bharat Ratna honour for Savarkar.
The Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis demanded a ban on the Congress mouthpiece ‘Shidori’ for publishing alleged derogatory articles on Savarkar. He asked leaders of the Congress party to clarify if they agreed with Savarkar’s portrayal as ‘maafiveer’ or a ‘brave man of apology’ in the articles. He said the motion was necessary to counter the ‘malicious’ campaign.
The NCP leader and the Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that though everybody has great respect for the leader, the BJP should first answer why Savarkar was not conferred with the ‘Bharat Ratna’ award in the last five years of Narendra Modi government’s rule despite two such requests by the then Devendra Fadnavis led BJP government in the state. He also questioned why Fadnavis government didn’t move the motion in the house during its five-year rule.
The senior NCP leader and food and civil supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal pointed out that the motion moved by the opposition was not as per the legislative rules.
The house Speaker Patole, too, said the motion was not in the framework of the parliamentary rules while rejecting it, leading to an uproar with MLAs from the opposition benches who trooped into the well, raising pro-Savarkar slogans.
The BJP MLAs also sat in the Well of the House while Fadnavis accused the Sena of being “desperate” for power and turning a blind eye to insult to Savarkar by Congress leader and former Union minister Manishankar Aiyar. They also condemned the government for ‘insulting’ Savarkar.