Hours after Union Government responded on questions over Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar, union minister and Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athawale said that if the government wants then why should they oppose. Speaking to news agency ANI outside the Parliament, Athawlae said: "When Congress was in power, they did whatever they wanted. Veer Savarkar played an important part in the freedom struggle, so if the government wants, then we all are supporting it. He should be honoured with Bharat Ratna."
On Tuesday, the Union Government responded on an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha on a potential Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar. In response to four questions asked by house member Gopal Chinnaya Shetty about proposal of Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, the government in its written reply said that recommendations for award of Bharat Ratna are received regularly from various quarters. The government, however, added that no formal recommendations for this award are necessary. The government also said that decisions regarding the Bharat Ratna are taken from time to time.
Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, BJP in its manifesto had pitched for honouring Savarkar with the Bharat Ratna. Under its manifesto section 'State's identity, proud heritage' - the BJP made the poll promise of honouring Veer Savarkar, Savitribai Phule, and Jyotiba Phule with the award.
Veer Savarkar was an Indian Independence fighter, politician, lawyer who is credited with being a formulator of the 'Hindutva' philosophy. He founded the Abhinav Bharat Society, which wrote extensively on the Indian Independence movement. He was later arrested and sentenced for revolutionary activities to two life terms of imprisonment totalling 50 years and was moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was later released in 1921.