Mumbai: The Centre should reinstate the plaque with Veer Savarkar`s quotes from Swatantrya Jyot at Cellular Jail in Andaman Islands, removed by former Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, senior BJP leader Ram Naik said here on Wednesday.
Naik, a former Petroleum Minister, said Aiyar, who unveiled the Jyot in August 2004, removed the plaque with the lines written by Savarkar: "Ki ghetale vrut na he amhi andhatene (we haven`t embarked on this mission blindly...)".
Naik said he had written to then Prime Minister, Home Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker and also Leader of the Lok Sabha and requested them to ensure reinstatement of the plaque.
The removal of the original plaque is an insult to Veer Savarkar, he said. Aiyar had also violated intellectual property rights of sculptor Uttam Pacharne. Once a sculpture is finalised by the sculptor as per design and has been approved, the sculpture cannot be changed without permission of the sculptor.
"Can any one remove the sword from Shivaji`s statue or the famous stick from Gandhiji`s statue because one does not like it? Will it be wise? Is it desirable?" he said.
Naik`s demand came on a day when the BJP top brass including Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid their respects to freedom fighter Savarkar at the Central Hall of Parliament on occasion of his birth anniversary.
The new Prime Minister and others offered floral tributes at the portrait of Savarkar who is regarded as an icon by the Sangh Parivar, of which BJP is a part.