Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his critical remarks on late Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, saying some people born in India have no knowledge about its history.
Fadnavis also took on former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for his “worthless” remarks targeted at him, and asserted he is a “bullet” (kartoos) and then with a rhetorical flourish added, “I won’t bow down, but pierce”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader slammed Thackeray for joining hands with the Congress and said he has no respect for people who have allied with political forces that regularly insult Savarkar.
Fadnavis was addressing a gathering at the concluding programme of the “Savarkar Gaurav Yatra” in his hometown Nagpur.
Referring to Gandhi, who has attacked Savarkar multiple times over the issue of mercy plea, the state home minister said some people born in India have no knowledge about its history or contemporary times.
“Someone who has no political future wakes up everyday and abuses Savarkar daily and to answer such people everyone in Maharashtra has come on roads in the form of the Savarkar Gaurav Yatra,” said Fadnavis.
Latching on Gandhi’s remarks that he will not apologize (for Modi surname comments) as he is not Savarkar, the BJP leader said the disqualified Lok Sabha MP can not become like the Hindutva icon.
“You are not Savarkar and not even Gandhi. To become Savarkar you need to make sacrifices,” he said.
Fadnavis said the former Congress president cannot stay in prison even for one day, while Savarkar spent years in the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands under harsh conditions.
The deputy CM said people like Gandhi, who are born with a golden spoon, do not know what sacrifices Savarkar made and untold suffering he underwent.
“Before independence, Britishers troubled us and after independence agents of Britishers are troubling us today,” Fadnavis said in an oblique reference to the Congress.
Fadnavis said Gandhi can never understand the late Hindutva icon and added “Savarkar resides in our hearts and you can never finish him”.
Attacking former CM Thackeray, the BJP leader said he joined hands for power with the Congress which has been regularly insulting Savarkar.
“I want to ask Uddhav Thackeray — what you were earlier and what you have become now. You left your father’s (Bal Thackeray) ideology,” said Fadnavis, slamming his political ally-turned-foe.
“You have to come on the ground because inheritance does not come with birth but with your acts. I have no respect for those who stand with people who insult Savarkar,” said Fadnavis.
BJP leader Sudhanshu Trivedi, addressing the gathering, said Savarkar sacrificed everything for the country, but did not get credit for it.
“Those who criticize him do not know the history of India,” Trivedi added.