In run-up to Maha Assembly polls, another Savarkar row

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 10 2009, 04:33am hrs
With the Maharashtra Assembly elections drawing near, the BJP made a spirited attempt in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday to resurrect the Vinayak Damodar Savarkar issue.

No one from the secular camp Congress, Left, SP or RJD made any attempt to engage BJP members as they stood up during Zero Hour demanding a clear government response to the proposal for setting up a Savarkar memorial at Marseilles in France.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Narayanasamy first said the government had taken note of the issue and would respond when necessary. Later, when pressed by Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and his deputy Sushma Swaraj for a clearer reply, Narayansamy promised to convey the feelings of members to the concerned minister.

BJPs Gopinath Munde, who hails from the same state as Savarkar Maharashtra raised the issue. He said the Mayor of Marseilles had written a letter indicating his willingness to establish the memorial. but the government had not responded. He pointed out that 100 years ago on this day Savarkar, who was being ferried as a prisoner, had jumped off a British ship to escape to the French coast. Savarkar swam across to the shore but was arrested in Marseilles. He was lodged in Cellular Jail in the Andamans.