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‘He helped British…’: Rahul Gandhi shows evidence for remarks about Savarkar

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stood firm in his comments on VD Savarkar that the Hindutva ideologue “wrote petitions for mercy to the British and accepted retirement” and that he did so out of fear.” Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday: “I am very clear that he helped the British”.

“See this. This is the most important document to me. This is the document that Savarkar’s letter to consists of [the] British declaring, “I beg to stay, sir, your most obedient servant, VD Savarkar,” Gandhi said on Thursday.

Gandhi went ahead and translated the English lines into Hindi saying, “Sir head aapka naukar rehna chaahta hoon“. “This was not written by me… but by Savarkarji. Let everyone read this document,” Rahul Gandhi added.

“I am very clear that he helped the British,” he said, brandishing the letter Savarkar wrote to the British, parts of which were highlighted in blue.

“Savarkar signed this letter while Mahatma Gandhi, pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were in jail for many years… did not write a single letter. I believe Savarkarji signed this letter out of fear,” the congress leader said.

Meanwhile, former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads a faction of the Shiv Sena, said on Thursday that his party has immense respect for VD Savarkar and that he does not approve of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comments about the freedom fighter.

Speaking to reporters, Thackeray also asked why the center has not granted the Bharat Ratna to Savarkar.

The Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction has an alliance with Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, as part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

At a rally in Washim district on Tuesday, organized as part of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi said Savarkar is a symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

“He was imprisoned in Andaman for two to three years. He started writing petitions for mercy,” the congressman had said.

The former congress president had claimed that Savarkar had written a book about himself by a different name and emphasized how brave he was. “He retired from the British, worked for them and worked against the Congress,” Gandhi had said.

Thackeray said on Thursday: “We do not condone Rahul Gandhi’s comments about Savarkar. We have tremendous respect and trust for Swatyantra Veer Savarkar and it cannot be erased.

Meanwhile, a police complaint was filed against Rahul Gandhi by Ranjeet Savarkar, second cousin of Veer Savarkar.

(with PTI inputs)

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