Amid Rahul Gandhi's continuous attacks on Veer Savarkar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has conveyed it to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge that targeting Savarkar, a revered figure in Maharashtra, would not help MVA.
Pawar made this clear to Kharge during the meeting of opposition leaders that took place on Monday at the Congress chief's residence, two leaders who attended the meeting informed PTI.
Rahul Gandhi has been making remarks against Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in press conferences and other places amid a row over his disqualification as Lok Sabha MP.
According to reports, Sharad Pawar told Rahul Gandhi that Savarkar was never a member of the RSS and underscored that the real fight of the opposition parties was with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP.
Opposition leaders said Congress has agreed to tone down its criticism of Savarkar, which has led to an unease in the NCP and the Shiv Sena (UBT), its alliance partners in Maharashtra.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said he had raised the Savarkar issue in his talks with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi and MVA partners are on the same page on this matter.
"MVA alliance is intact. If anyone thinks the MVA will break apart, they are wrong," Raut told reporters.
"Almost all opposition leaders were of the view that there was no need to rake up the Savarkar issue. We have to decide whether we have to fight Modi or Savarkar and not create confusion," Raut said after a meeting of parliamentarians owing allegiance to the Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena.
Earlier, addressing a rally in Muslim-dominated textile town of Malegaon in Nashik district of north Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray slammed Rahul Gandhi for his remarks against Savarkar.
"Savarkar is our idol and his insult will not be tolerated if we have to fight together to protect our democracy. Savarkar suffered unimaginable torture in the Andaman cellular jail for 14 years. We can only read the sufferings. It is a form of sacrifice," he said.
''I want to tell Rahul Gandhi that we have come together to save our country's democracy and its Constitution. But you are deliberately being provoked. If we allow this time to get wasted, then democracy will cease to exist. 2024 will be the last election," Thackeray added.
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