Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said he received a call from Congress MP Rahul Gandhi who enquired about his health and claimed such gestures were becoming rare in times of "political bitterness".
Raut said Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, a mass contact initiative underway from September 7, is getting a massive response because he is “focussing on love and compassion”.
The Rajya Sabha member's praise for Gandhi comes at a time when the latter has been facing flak for his remarks on freedom fighter V D Savarkar.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray last week said his party has immense respect for Savarkar and they do not approve of Gandhi's remarks about the late Hindutva ideologue.
Gandhi recently called Savarkar a symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
He also claimed that Savarkar helped the British rulers and wrote a mercy petition to them out of fear.
Raut, who was recently granted bail in a money laundering case, in a tweet on Monday said, “In spite of strong differences of opinion on some issues, inquiring on your political colleague is a sign of humanity! During his busy schedule with the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhiji called yesterday to inquire abt my health. 'We were worried for you he said (sic)."
“I appreciate his empathy of feeling the pain of a political colleague who spent 110 days in jail. In d times of political bitterness, such gestures are becoming rare. Rahulji is focusing on love & compassion in his yatra and hence it is getting a massive response,” he added.
Raut was released from Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail earlier this month after a court granted him bail in a money laundering case.
(Inputs from PTI)