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Sharad Pawar spoke at the Press Club in Nagpur, stating that - while late Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar's sacrifice for India's independence struggle could not be ignored - disagreements over him should not be made a national issue today. There are more pressing matters to focus on, said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief.

He added that there was no need to thrust Savarkar into the national narrative, especially when there are more pressing issues concerning the common public.

“Today, Savarkar is not a national issue, it is an old thing. We had said a few things about Savarkar but it was not personal. It was against Hindu Maha Sabha. But there is another side to it as well. We cannot ignore the sacrifice made by Savarkar ji for the independence of the country," Pawar said.

Also Read: Savarkar row: Congress to tone down attack after Sharad Pawar's intervention

Pawar defended Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is being targeted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for speaking about issues in India on foreign soil, saying that it was not the first time an Indian had done so.

Pawar said that leaders of 18-20 political parties had recently discussed major issues facing the country. He suggested that there was a need to deliberate on the way the country was being run by those in power.

Pawar also spoke about how he had previously discussed Savarkar's progressive views in Parliament 32 years ago. He stated that Savarkar had built a house in Ratnagiri and constructed a small temple in front of it, deputing a person from the Valmiki community to perform puja in the temple, which he felt was a very progressive thing.

Also Read: Maharashtra political parties find common ground after Rahul Gandhi's 'not Savarkar' jibe

When asked if he thought Lok Sabha and state elections would be held together in 2024, Pawar said they would not happen at the same time. During his visit to Nagpur, he also visited Union minister Nitin Gadkari at the latter's home, calling it a courtesy visit. On Gadkari's request, a sub-centre of Vasantdada Sugar Institute, Pune, is coming up in Nagpur. Pawar is the president of this institute.

(With agency inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 02 Apr 2023, 06:07 AM IST
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