Don't insult Savarkar, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut warns Rahul Gandhi

Reacting sharply to Rahul Gandhi's 'my name is not Rahul Savarkar' barb, Congress ally Shiv Sena on Saturday warned that Hindutva icon Vinayak Damodar Savarkar should not be insulted.

Savarkar is no less than "god" for the whole country and deserves reverence, Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said on Twitter.

"Veer Savarkar is a god ("daivat") of the whole country and not just Maharashtra. The name Savarkar denotes national pride and self-respect. Like Nehru and Gandhi, Savarkar too dedicated his life to the country. Every such god must be revered. There is no compromise on this," Raut tweeted in Marathi.

"We respect Gandhi and Nehru. You should not insult Savarkar. Enough said," he tweeted further.

Addressing the Congress' mega "Bharat Bachao Rally" in Delhi earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi rejected the BJP's demand for apology over his 'rape in India' remark.

"The BJP asked me to apologise. My name is not Rahul Savarkar, it is Rahul Gandhi, and I will never apologise for speaking the truth," he said.

The Congress leader was apparently alluding to the allegation against Savarkar, a pre-eminent Hindutva ideologue, that he tendered apology to the British for securing early release from the Cellular Jail in Andaman.

The Sena, which has formed an unlikely alliance with the Congress and the NCP after it fell out with the BJP, had blasted Rahul Gandhi during the Maharashtra Assembly election campaign for his comments against Savarkar.

In the past, the Sena had also virulently targeted Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer for ordering removal of a plaque dedicated to Savarkar at the Cellular Jail.

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