Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said letters cited by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while making critical remarks against freedom fighter VD Savarkar were common during the British rule and even Mahatma Gandhi used to write such missives.
Addressing a rally in Bhavnagar ahead of next month's Assembly elections in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader slammed the Congress MP, saying he is fond of insulting national heroes except those belonging to the Gandhi-Nehru family.
During the Maharashtra leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi, citing a document, had alleged Savarkar had helped the British and written mercy petitions (signing off with the statement - 'I beg to remain your most obedient servant') to them out of fear when jailed during the freedom struggle. The Congress leader also said Savarkar was a mascot of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
"Whatever Rahul Gandhi said was childish. The kind letters he is showing...I want to tell him that Mahatma Gandhiji had also written such letters. People have published them, too. He always insults our respected national figures except those from the Gandhi-Nehru family," said Fadnavis in his address at the campaign rally for the BJP in Gujarat.
"He does not believe in Savarkar, or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose or Sardar Patel. Instead, he always tries to defame them," alleged the BJP leader.
Addressing a press conference at Akola in Maharashtra on Thursday, Gandhi showed a paper to media persons, claiming it was a letter written by Savarkar to the British.
“I will read the last line, which says 'I beg to remain your most obedient servant' and is signed V D Savarkar,” the former Congress president said at the media interaction.
Union Cabinet minister Anurag Thakur, who was in Surat district to canvas for local BJP candidates ahead of the December 1 polls, also slammed Gandhi and the Congress over the Savarkar issue, saying the Opposition party and its leaders will never be able to look beyond one family.
"Earlier, he used to talk about Hindu terrorism and also went to the JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi) to express support for those who wished to break India into pieces. Now, he is criticising Savarkar," said Thakur in his address at a rally in Surat.
-With PTI Input