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“Insulting Mahatma Gandhi will not be tolerated”: Devendra Fadnavis condemns Hindutva activist Sambhaji Bhide, reminds protesting Congress of its comments on Savarkar

Devendra Fadnavis said that the Congress party should not "stay quiet" when Rahul Gandhi speaks anything against Veer Savarkar

After saying that True Indology should be hanged for alleged comments on Savitribai Phule, Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has targeted another right-wing activist Sambhaji Bhide. Fadnavis condemned Sambhaji Bhide for his alleged derogatory statement against Mahatma Gandhi, saying that ‘Gandhi is seen as the leader of the history of India’s freedom struggle’.

Devendra Fadnavis said they will not tolerate Gandhi’s insult, adding “I condemn the statement of Sambhaji Bhide. Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation. He is viewed as the leader of the history of India’s freedom struggle.” The BJP leader made the comments while talking to the media in Mumbai, stressing that action will be taken against Bhide by the Maharashtra government.

Fadnavis further added, “Such a statement against him is inappropriate, people will not tolerate it. State Government will take appropriate action in this case. Insulting Mahatma Gandhi will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

He also tried to distance BJP from the Hindutva activist, saying “Sambhaji Bhide has no connection with BJP, he has his own organisation. No need to give it political colours deliberately.”

However, Devendra Fadnavis also targeted the Congress party, which has raised its voice against Bhide for alleged comments on MK Gandhi, for the party’s comments on Savarkar. He said that the Congress party should not “stay quiet” when Rahul Gandhi speaks anything against Veer Savarkar. “The manner in which the people of Congress are taking to the streets over this, they should similarly do so when Rahul Gandhi speaks against Veer Savarkar. But they stay quiet at that time,” Fadnavis said.

90-years-old Sambhaji Bhide, founder of Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, allegedly made derogatory comments on MK Gandhi at an event in Amravati district on Thursday. The Congress party had raised the matter in the assembly on Friday condemning the comments demanding action. After that, an FIR was registered against Bhide under Indian Penal Code section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).

The case was filed by Rajapeth police station in Amravati district after Congress state secretary Nandkishore Kuyate filed a complaint against Bhide. Congress leaders have also demanded his arrest in the matter.

Sambhaji Bhide had questioned the family background of MK Gandhi while making the controversial comments. He had said, “Mahatma Gandhi’s name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, but Karamchand Gandhi was not Mahatma Gandhi’s father. His real father was a Muslim landlord.” He had further claimed that ‘Karamchand had stolen a large sum of money from the Muslim landlord with whom he was working. As a result, the angry Muslim landlord abducted Karamchand’s wife and brought her home. After he took her as a wife and father Mahatma Gandhi.’

Sambhaji Bhide, a former RSS leader, also claimed that he has evidence about his claims.

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