18 October 2019
New Delhi: In a damage control effort amid the scathing attack launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former prime minister Manmohan Singh has toned down the Congress line on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Article 370.
Hours after his party colleagues questioned the BJP's demand for a Bharat Ratna to party ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Manmohan Singh at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday tried to play down the statements and said that the Congress was not against Savarkar, but opposed the Hindutva ideology that he propagated. He revealed that former prime minister Indira Gandhi had even issued a postal stamp commemorating Savarkar.
On Thursday, Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari has slammed the BJP tweeting: "Why does NDA/BJP government want to confer Bharat Ratna on Savarkar, why not Godse? Former was only charge-sheeted & later acquitted for assassination of Gandhi, while latter was convicted & hanged. On his 150th anniversary, if you want to defile his memory, then go the whole nine yards?"
Manmohan Singh also said the Congress was not opposed to the abrogation of Article 370, as it was a temporary provision, but had reservations with the way it was scrapped.
Manmohan Singh's statements have come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are attacking Congress for the various statements made by its leaders on Article 370 and Savarkar.