Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's controversial remarks on Vinayak Damodar alias Veer Savarkar escalated into a big controversy, earning the ire of Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on March 25.
Remarks on Savarkar drew immediate disapproval from new-found Eknath Shinde's government who said that the Hindutva icon should not be insulted.
"Savarkar is not only Maharashtra's deity but is an idol for the whole country and Rahul Gandhi has defamed him. Any criticism of Rahul Gandhi will be lesser for his this deed. Today also, he said that I am not Savarkar who will apologise. What does he think of Savarkar? He must be punished for this," said Maha CM Eknath Shinde in Assembly.
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Further, Shinde alleged that Rahul Gandhi has been suspended by the law which was made by Congress itself. Lalu Yadav and several others were disqualified but nothing of this sort happened then, "Wasn't Democracy in danger then," asked Shinde
"Rahul Gandhi has not only criticised PM Modi but has defamed the entire OBC community. He is continuing to speak in the same tone and I want to tell him that if he continues to do so, it will be difficult for him to walk on the road," added the Maha chief minister.
A day after being disqualified as Lok Sabha MP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed a press conference on March 25 over his UK, PM Modi surname remarks and whether he should seek an apology to which he said, “My name is not Savarkar. My name is Gandhi. Gandhi kisi se maafi nahi maangta (Gandhi does not make apologies to anyone)”.
The former Wayanad MP said that he can see fear in the eyes of PM Modi and that he is not afraid about being disqualified for life or being jailed. “I will keep doing my work. Will continue to fight for my country. Will keep questioning PM Modi and Adani’s ties. I will continue to fight for truth which has now become my ultimate goal and my life motto”, said the leader.
His disqualification was the result of a defamation case in which he was found guilty and sentenced to prison for making a statement in 2019 implying PM Modi was a criminal. The Wayanad seat held by Rahul Gandhi now remains vacant following his disqualification. In order to enable him to appeal his conviction, bail has been granted and his sentence has been suspended for 30 days.
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