The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has called for the withdrawal of a booklet distributed by the Seva Dal which questions Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's credentials as a patriot. The Hindi booklet, titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?", was distributed at a camp of the Congress-affiliated organisation in Madhya Pradesh.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said that since Savarkar was not alive, it was wrong to make such a claim.
The book alleges that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, after his release from Andaman's Cellular Jail, received pension from the British, and he and Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse were in a physical relationship.
"The booklet should be withdrawn. You may have ideological differences with the person concerned. But it is not right to make such personal remarks against one who is not around," Mr Malik said.
The NCP is an ally of the Congress and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena had also targeted the Congress over the booklet.
"Veer Savarkar was a great man and will remain a great man. A section keeps talking against him. This shows the dirt in their mind," Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Friday.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had called for a ban on the booklet saying the Congress had exhibited its "wicked" psyche by circulating it.
Last month, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's jibe that his name was not "Rahul Savarkar" and hence, he would not seek apology about a remark had riled the Shiv Sena. The Sena formed alliance with the Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra after severing its ties with the BJP.