BJP: Indira Gandhi called Savarkar ‘remarkable son of India’

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NEW DELHI: On a day Congress attacked BJP for pledging to bestow the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the saffron party came out strongly in favour of its poll promise made in Maharashtra and said Congress leaders were “ignorant” of their own party senior’s views.
Union minister Jitendra Singh tweeted a letter written by the late Indira Gandhi in 1980 in which she called Savarkar a “remarkable son of India” and extended her full support to plans to celebrate his birth centenary year.
“I have received your letter of 8th May 1980. Veer Savarkar’s daring defiance of the British government has its own important place in the annals of our freedom movement. I wish success to the plans to celebrate the birth centenary of this remarkable son of India,” Indira had written in reply to a letter from Pandit Bakhle, secretary, Swatantrayaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak, Dadar, Mumbai.
Stating that the letter showed contradictions within Congress, Singh said those who questioned Savarkar were not familiar with his true story about how he was ahead of his contemporaries in visualising a free Indian society.
“Savarkar was not only a nationalist and patriot but he also worked for rehabilitation of co-prisoners. He was in jail for 12 years-Besides, he had formed a union of prisoners against the British,” Singh told TOI.
In its manifesto for the Maharashtra assembly elections, BJP has promised to propose the names of Savarkar, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule and Annabhau Sathe for Bharat Ratna. Former PM Manmohan Singh said in Mumbai that Congress was not in favour of what “Savarkarji patronised and stood for”, as he spoke about his party’s opposition to the demand for Bharat Ratna for him. Singh, however, said Indira Gandhi as PM had issued a postal stamp in Savarkar’s memory.

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