Rajasthan Congress chief calls Savarkar a ‘freedom fighter’

Going out of the party line, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Govind Singh Dotasra has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his statement that the “freedom fighter” Veer Savarkar took part in the struggle for Independence and his demand for a Hindu nation in pre-Independent India was a valid one.

Following Dotasra’s statement, BJP leaders are making a beeline to congratulate the Congress leader for his change in stand.

Addressing the August Kranti Day programme at the PCC headquarters here on Monday, Dotasra said, “One of the two leaders of RSS was seen as freedom fighter when the Congress was fighting for Independence.”

He simultaneously justified Savarkar’s demand for a Hindu nation.

Dotasra also said that Savarkar participated in the Independence movement.

“We are not denying this. He used to talk about Hindu Rashtra before Independence, so he did not commit any crime in saying that. Before Independence, the demand for a Hindu Rashtra was justified. At that time, our Constitution was not implemented. But the BJP and the Sangh are talking about dividing the country with Savarkar’s ideology at a time when the Constitution is in place and is followed by people from across the country,” he said.

Dotasra’s statement has given the BJP leaders a reason to cheer.

BJP state President Satish Poonia said, “Better late than never. We are glad that they (Congress) have accepted the fact that Savarkar took part in the freedom struggle. The statement was made under moral pressure.

“The Congress has been following a policy of appeasement for years. This was not a slip of tongue, as he (Dotasra) was under the pressure of moral values. The Congress is playing caste politics and hence it has lost a major chunk of voters; but these statements will not repair the damage that has already been done.”

BJP MLA Madan Dilawar also congratulated the PCC chief for his statement and said that finally the party leader has accepted the truth.

“Savarkar spent 40 years in jail and yet they abuse such a great freedom fighter. I congratulate Dotasra for his statement,” he said.

The Congress is yet to issue any statement on the matter.