The Maharashtra government has announced that it will hold a state-wide 'Savarkar Gaurav Yatra' to celebrate the contributions of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, following Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's controversial statement. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement on March 27, condemning Gandhi's comments and pledging to protest against anyone who disrespects Savarkar.
Shinde said, "I condemn Rahul Gandhi's statement on Veer Savarkar. He played a great role in the country's freedom struggle. Due to the contribution of such heroes, India got freedom." Fadnavis added that the yatra would take place in every district of the state, and would include discussions on Savarkar's contributions.
The move comes after Gandhi's recent remarks, in which he refused to apologize for his "Modi surname" comment and said that his name was Gandhi, not Savarkar. The Congress leader was disqualified from the Lok Sabha after making the remark at a public rally in Karnataka in 2019, where he said, "how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname."
Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has also spoken out on the issue, vowing to not tolerate any insult against Savarkar. He asked whether he would do the same thing to Rahul Gandhi as his father Balasaheb Thackeray had done to then-Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, who he thrashed with shoes.
The 'Savarkar Gaurav Yatra' is expected to be a show of strength by the Maharashtra government, which is seeking to defend the legacy of Veer Savarkar and counter Rahul Gandhi's remarks. It is also seen as a way to rally support from the public, particularly those who view Savarkar as a hero.
The yatra is expected to take place in the coming weeks, with dates and locations to be announced soon. It remains to be seen how the Congress party will respond to the government's move, and whether it will escalate tensions between the two sides.
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