Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis condemned Rahul Gandhi's "I am not Rahul Savarkar" jibe, saying that the Congress leader does not match the 'nails of Savarkar.' Fadnavis further said that nobody becomes a 'Gandhi' just by their last name. At the 'Bharat Bachao' rally in Delhi led by Congress bigwigs, the former party chief 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, Devendra Fadnavis said, "Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's statement is very condemnable. They cannot even match the nails of the freedom fighter Savarkar and they must not do so if they are scared to think of themselves as 'Gandhi'! Just because last name is Gandhi, nobody should be 'Gandhi', it should be remembered!"
"I was told in the parliament by BJP that I should apologise for my speech. They asked me to apologise for saying the truth. My name is not Rahul Savarkar, it is Rahul Gandhi. I will never apologise for the truth, I will die but not say sorry and neither any Congress worker will apologise. Narendra Modi must apologise to the country," Rahul Gandhi said at the Bharat Bachao Rally in the national capital.
Warning the Congress to refrain from insulting Shiv Sena's hero Veer Savarkar, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday, issued a stern warning - ' We believe Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandi. Do not insult Veer Savarkar'. He added, 'Hopefully furthermore will not be required to be said on this'. He had also explained that Savarkar was a god who had sacrificed his life for independence like Nehru and Gandhi.
In a tweet, the Shiv Sena leader also 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. He 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.