Fadnavis frowns as ruling MLAs kick Rahul Gandhi's picture for his comment against Savarkar. According to reports, some lawmakers from the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party
coalition, which is in power in Maharashtra, allegedly kicked and vandalized pictures of Congressman Rahul Gandhi with their shoes on Thursday. The incident drew sharp criticism from several quarters, with even deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis expressing displeasure.
In a contentious debate in the assembly that led to an adjournment, the members were protesting over Rahul Gandhi's remarks made against Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar during his Bharat Jodo Yatra. Pratap Sarnaik and Sanjay Shirsat, both members of the Shiv Sena, criticized Rahul Gandhi for "disrespecting" Veer Savarkar. Shirsat also wanted to know the position of the rival Shiv Sena
(UBT), which is led by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Although BJP Legislator Ashish Shelar requested Rahul Gandhi's apologies for allegedly insulting India on foreign soil and for his insults against Savarkar, Shirsat also stated that the Assembly would draft a resolution against him for his comments on Savarkar. Speaker Rahul Narwekar postponed the House for 10 minutes as the commotion persisted on both sides. Several members of the ruling party are accused of bringing a picture of Rahul Gandhi and kicking it while shouting slogans outside the House, on the steps of the Assembly. Balasaheb Thorat, the leader of the Congress Legislative Party, reacted angrily, claiming that such behaviour by members of the ruling alliance's legislature to defame Gandhi was unusual.
"This is an effort to distract the public from the losses suffered by farmers as a result of hailstorms and unseasonal rainfall, as well as from other issues affecting the nation, such as inflation and unemployment. We have always upheld Maharashtra's traditions and manners "explained Thorat. Additionally, he argued that individuals who engaged in such behaviour have no right to remain in office since they have fallen to new political lows in recent years and no longer have any moral standing to speak in the House.
Thorat questioned the veracity of those who sided with the British during the struggle for independence and cited instances in which leaders of the ruling coalition denigrated revered figures like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, B.R. Ambedkar, and Sant Tukaram without being held accountable.