Mumbai: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday came down heavily on the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra for ignoring attacks by its new ally Congress on freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.
The former chief minister latched on two articles published in a Maharashtra Congress magazine, which are critical of the Hindutva ideologue, to ask why the Sena is feeling so "helpless".
He demanded a ban on the Marathi magazine 'Shidori' in which the anti-Savarkar articles have appeared. Speaking to reporters, Fadnavis said, The Maharashtra Congress publishes 'Shidori', which has allegedly described late Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as an apologist and a rapist.
"These references are part of two separate articles published in the magazine. I wonder how much the Sena is helpless for power that its ally is defaming Senas ideologue, Savarkar."
"The magazine should be banned and the Congress should apologise over the malicious content in the magazine against Savarkar, the Leader of Opposition in the assembly said. The articles also say the Shiv Sena, which is heading the government in the state, is averse to facts, he said.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party, a former ally of the BJP, should answer how much insult it can tolerate by its ruling alliance partner, Fadnavis said. The Sena should make its stand clear on whether it agrees to the description of Savarkar by the magazine officially published by Congress, he said.
The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has removed a bust of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, while the party-led dispensation in Rajasthan has ordered removal of paintings of Savarkar and Bharatiya Jana Sangh co-founder Deendayal Upadhyay from schools, Fadnavis said.
Despite all this, the Sena is sharing power with the Congress, he said. Besides the Congress, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP is also a key constituent of the ruling Maha Vikas Agadhi in the state.