Finally breaking their silence on Rahul Gandhi's "I am not Rahul Savarkar" comment, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut equated Savarkar to that of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. He further asserted that 'every such god' should be honored. At the 'Bharat Bachao' rally in Delhi led by Congress bigwigs, Rahul Gandhi said that he was Rahul Gandhi, not Rahul Savarkar - alluding to Savarkar's alleged apology to the British seeking an early release from Andaman jail.
In a tweet, the Shiv Sena leader said, "Veer Savarkar is the god of not only Maharashtra but the country. The name Savarkar is a nation of pride and pride. Like Nehru and Gandhi, Savarkar sacrificed his life for independence. Every such god should be honored. There are no compromises. Jai Hind."
Shiv Sena which allied with the 'secular' Congress, had recently released its 'secular' joint Common Minimum Programme. The saffron party, an ally of Congress in Maharashtra maintaining a balancing act has often backed the BJP on prominent issues like the building of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, abrogation of Article 370 among others.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's grandson, Ranjit Savarkar retaliated to Rahul Gandhi's vehement remark. Ranjit Savarkar said, "Rahul Gandhi should be grateful to his grandmother Indira Gandhi that she dropped her surname (Nehru) or else people would have called them British servants. Jawaharlal Nehru was a British loyalist as in 1946 he accepted to work in the Vice Royal Council as a minister. He expressed loyalty to the then monarch of England, King George VI and took an oath to be loyal to the British," he added.
Moreover, he said that the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray should beat Rahul Gandhi publicly for 'insulting' his grandfather at a public rally in New Delhi. "Now, I want that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray should beat him openly as he said many times that if anyone insults Veer Savarkar, he will beat him publicly. I expect the Shiv Sena would not change its stand on Veer Savarkar (that he should get Bharat Ratna)," Savarkar's grandson told ANI.