In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's verbal attack against late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Shiv Sena today said this is the price Congress president Rahul Gandhi has to pay for "insulting" freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.
"Rahul Gandhi refers to Narendra Modi as 'chor' in public assemblies, does anyone expect that Prime Minister will 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," the party said in its editorial mouthpiece "Saamana".
"The manner in which he made fun of Savarkar, it is an insult to all the freedom fighters and is simply unacceptable," the editorial said.
Recently, the Prime Minister had hit out at Rajiv Gandhi saying although he was termed "Mr Clean" by his courtiers, his life ended as "Bhrashtachari No 1" (Mr Corrupt) - a statement for which he drew ire from Congress and other opposition parties alike.
However, the Shiv Sena, while defending the Prime Minister, said the latter has simply "shown him his deeds."
"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.
The Congress had condemned PM Modi's "Bhrashtachari No. 1" comment, remark, dubbing it as "unnecessary".
However, the Prime Minister stood his ground and challenged the Congress to fight the remaining phases of Lok Sabha elections on the issue of Rajiv Gandhi's self-respect.
"I challenge the Congress party, its president, his family and associates to fight the remaining two phases of the elections on the issue of respect of the former Prime Minister, who faced serious charges of corruption," PM Modi had said at an election rally in Jharkhand earlier this week.
Seven-phase elections in the country began on April 11 and will conclude on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.