MUMBAI: Shiv Sena on Thursday supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his 'Bhrastachari No 1' remarks on former PM late Rajiv Gandhi, saying the insult heaped on Rajiv Gandhi by PM Modi is the price Congress president Rahul Gandhi has to pay for "insulting" freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. Shiv Sena said in its editorial mouthpiece 'Saamna' that Rahul keeps on calling PM Modi 'chor' in public rallies and he also insults Veer Savarkar publicly.
"Rahul Gandhi refers to Narendra Modi as `chor` in public assemblies; does anyone expect the Prime Minister to invite him for a cup of tea for this? Even if we assume that what Prime Minister said about Rajiv Gandhi was wrong, the manner in which Rahul Gandhi has insulted great freedom fighter Veer Savarkar is worse," said Shiv Sena. "The manner in which he made fun of Savarkar and described how he freed himself by pleading to be British, it is an insult to all the freedom fighters and is simply unacceptable," added the 'Saamna' editorial.
On Saturday, PM Modi had hit out at Rajiv Gandhi saying that he ended his life as `Bhrashtachari No 1` (corrupt no 1). The remarks have sparked a political row with Congress and other opposition parties slamming the PM for dragging late prime minister in the political campaigns. The Shiv Sena, however, strongly defended PM Modi, saying he has only shown a mirror to the Congress president.
Shiv Sena said in its editorial that Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE terrorists and it was an unfortunate incident but Rajiv did not do anything for the nation before his entry into politics. The editorial added that it would be wrong to use a term like 'sacrifice' with Rajiv Gandhi. "Rajiv Gandhi was killed in an attack by the Tamil militants and all were saddened that Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi`s father left them. Before his entry into politics, Rajiv Gandhi did nothing great for the nation, hence a term like `sacrifice` doesn`t suit him. He became Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi was brutally murdered and later on his politics and life also ended in a sad manner. But such was not the case with Veer Savarkar, who at the age of 14 years pledged in front of the Almighty to get independence for his nation and fight British till his last breath," the editorial read.
Earlier on Thursday, Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel had slammed PM Modi and the BJP for dragging former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi into their election campaigns, saying that the BJP was responsible for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. “The BJP backed VP Singh govt refused to provide him with additional security & left him with one PSO despite credible intelligence inputs and repeated requests. Rajiv ji lost his life due to their hatred & is no longer here amongst us to answer the baseless allegations & abuses which are being unleashed on him," tweeted Patel.
For his part, Rahul Gandhi had preferred not to hit out at PM Modi over 'Bhrashtachari No 1' comment but the Congress chief had said that he will try to spread only "love" and "hugs". Several opposition leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, have slammed PM Modi for his remarks against Rajiv Gandhi.
(with ANI inputs)