With the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker on Wednesday rejecting the BJP's demand for a government resolution honouring Hindutva icon V D Savarkar, senior leader Devendra Fadnavis launched a frontal attack on the Shiv Sena, calling it "laachar" (helpless) for power. The BJP had demanded the resolution commemorating the death anniversary of Savarkar on Wednesday.
"The BJP also wanted ban on Congress magazine 'Shidori' for terming Savarkar as a 'maafiveer' (mercy-seeker) and not 'Swantryaveer' (freedom fighter)", Fadnavis said.
The magazine had also published objectionable content, saying Savarkar was punished for rape, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly said.
Earlier, Fadnavis tore a copy of the magazine in the Lower House.
"Unfortunately, I have never seen such a 'laachar' Shiv Sena before this," Fadnavis told reporters outside the state legislature building, after the resolution was rejected.
He recalled how late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had hit with shoes the banner (carrying image) of Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for insulting Savarkar.
The Shiv Sena in August 2004 launched "Jode Mara" (hit with footwear) agitation to condemn Aiyar and the Congress after his purported act of removing the plaque containing Savarkar's quotes at the Cellular Jail in Andaman triggered a controversy.
Bal Thackeray himself had kick-started the agitation by hitting the effigy of Aiyar, then petroleum minister in the UPA government at the Centre, with footwear.
"But his son, Uddhav Thackeray who is chief minister now, is sitting next to those whose mouthpiece called Savarkar a rapist," Fadnavis said.
The Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, shares power in Maharashtra with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress.
Fadnavis further said Maharashtra will not tolerate insult of Savarkar, and that the BJP will raise the issue with the people.
He and another senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar also raised the photo frame of Savarkar hailing the Hindutva leader. A Congress affiliate in Madhya Pradesh had last month distributed a Hindi booklet, titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?", which had some controversial references regarding Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse.