Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on Veer Savarkar precious gift for BJP; Here’s how

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In Another Self Goal With Savarkar Remarks Rahul Gandhi Helps BJP To Shift Narrative In MaharashtraCongress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on Hindutva ideologue Swatantryaveer V.D. Savarkar have received a huge backlash from Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena which is its ally in Maharashtra. With his remarks, Rahul Gandhi has provided a poll issue to BJP in Maharashtra and neighbouring Gujarat which votes for a new government next month.

During the Maharashtra leg of his Yatra last week, he criticised BJP and RSS idolising Savarkar. Savarkar is also worshipped by Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiva Sena.

While BJP left no chance to berate Uddhav, the Thackeray faction also suggested such remarks can end the MVA alliance.

Sena’s Sanjay Raut said that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra has drawn a huge response in Maharashtra and therefore at this juncture, there was no need for him to raise the Savarkar issue and create a controversy. “What Rahul Gandhi said about Veer Savarkar will cause cracks in the MVA alliance. However, the MVA would not collapse. It would certainly cause bitterness… there will be cracks in our alliance which is not a good sign,” said Raut.

Rahul’s remarks on Savarkar came at a time when the BMC polls are just a few months away. Though BMC is dominated by Uddhav’s Shiva Sena, the rebellion by Eknath Shinda in June could weaken the former family’s hold.

It may be noted that the civic polls in Mumbai are crucial for Uddhav Thackeray to regard the lost political space. However, BJP is likely to turn Rahul’s comment on Savarkar into an emotive issue in the upcoming polls.

This could be the reason why Congress went into a damage control mode after Rahul’s remarks on Savarkar.

Congress leader and spokesperson Jairam Ramesh called Sena MP Sanjay Raut to clear the air. “I had a long chat with Sanjay Raut ji and I told him that Rahul Gandhi had spoken his mind, and the same was the case with your leadership. It (criticism of Savarkar) has nothing to do with the MVA coalition, it is a matter of different perspectives, outlook and approach, and something which is also a fact,” Jairam Ramesh told the media.

Is Rahul making life easy for BJP?

The Shinde-BJP government in Maharashtra was on the backfoot in recent months for multiple reasons. Team Uddhav had scolded the ruling alliance after two big projects went to neighbouring Gujarat.

Moreover, the apparent growing uneasiness between Shinde and Fadanavis has also provided political fodder to the Uddhav faction.

However, the recent remarks by Rahul Gandhi are now being used by the saffron party to shift the narrative. BJP bigwigs like party chiefs JP Nadda, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Fadnavis have also criticised Rahul.

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