MUMBAI: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Friday demanded that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ban a booklet distributed by the Seva Dal which questions Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's credentials as a patriot.
The Hindi booklet, titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?", was distributed at a camp of the Congress-affiliated organisation in Madhya Pradesh.
The book alleged that Savarkar, after his release from Andaman's Cellular Jail, received pension from the British, and he and Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse were in a physical relationship.
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Fadnavis, a former Maharashtra chief minister, said the Congress had exhibited its "wicked" psyche by circulating such a booklet, which underscored its "intellectual bankruptcy".
"The BJP strongly condemns the booklet. Venerable Hinduhriday-Samrat Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray would have been the first to react in his archetypal style (to the booklet) had he been around," he said, using the popular epithet of `king of Hindu hearts' for the Sena founder.
"Today, cannot have such an expectation, but expect that the chief minister announces immediate ban on the book," Fadnavis said in a series of tweets.
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He also sought to know from the Shiv Sena "which entered into an unnatural alliance with such a bankrupt party" (the Congress) if it will repeatedly entertain insults to its "deity" Savarkar for the sake of power.
The Sena formed an alliance with the Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra after severing its ties with the BJP.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had slammed the booklet.
"Veer Savarkar was a great man and will remain a great man. A section keeps talking against him. This shows the dirt in their mind," Raut said.
Last month, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's jibe that his name was not "Rahul Savarkar" and hence he would not seek apology (about his remark on rape) had riled the Sena.