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Maha: Ruling MLAs kick Rahul Gandhi’s photo for Savarkar comment, Fadnavis frowns

Mumbai : Some legislators of the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in Maharashtra allegedly kicked and defiled photos of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi with shoes, drawing sharp criticism from several quarters with even Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis frowning at the incident, here on Thursday.

The legislators were protesting against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar made during his Bharat Jodo Yatra in a heated discussion in the Assembly, which resulted in an adjournment.

Shiv Sena MLAs Pratap Sarnaik and Sanjay Shirsat condemned Rahul Gandhi for ‘disrespecting’ Veer Savarkar, while Shirsat demanded to know the stance of the rival Shiv Sena (UBT) headed by ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray on the Congress leader’s remarks.

Shirsat also said that the Assembly would move a resolution against Rahul Gandhi for his utterances against Savarkar, while BJP MLA Ashish Shelar demanded the Congress MP’s apology for allegedly insulting India on foreign soil and for his slurs on Savarkar.

As the ruckus continued on both sides, Speaker Rahul Narwekar adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

Outside the House, on the stairs of the Assembly, some ruling party MLAs allegedly brought a photo of Rahul Gandhi and started kicking it while raising slogans.

Reacting sharply, Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat said that such behaviour was unprecedented with the ruling alliance legislators resorting to such low levels to sully the image of Gandhi.

“This is an attempt to divert public attention from the losses to the farmers due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms, inflation, unemployment and other problems facing the country. We have always maintained the decorum and culture in Maharashtra,” Thorat said.

He also demanded that those who indulged in such acts have no right to continue in power as they have lost all moral authority to speak in the House after stooping to new lows in politics in the past few years.

Thorat also questioned the credibility of the people who took the side of the British during the freedom struggle and pointed out how several leaders of the ruling alliance have vilified great icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, B.R. Ambedkar and Sant Tukaram, but no action was taken against them.

Taking serious cognisance of the Opposition’s grievance, Fadnavis agreed that the incident of kicking Rahul Gandhi’s photo should not have happened inside the Assembly complex.

“On behalf of the ruling side, I assure that no such incident will take place in the future,” Fadnavis told the agitated Congress members.

However, the Deputy CM also urged that people should be careful about their choice of words while speaking about the great icons of the country, adding that no other freedom fighter has suffered as much as Veer Savarkar, so the statements made against him must be condemned.

Hindi Website