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Savarkar was a great leader: Thackeray
Vijay Singh in Mumbai | March 05, 2003 13:21 IST
In an interview to his party's mouthpiece Saamna, published on Wednesday, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has criticised the opposition's decision to protest against the unveiling of a portrait of Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly called Veer Savarkar, in the Central Hall of Parliament.
President A P J Abdul Kalam had unveiled the portrait in the presence of Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a host of Union minister at a function, which was boycotted by the entire opposition, on February 26.
"Who is [Congress president and Leader of the Opposition] Sonia Gandhi to object to the portrait? What relation does she have with the country? How much does she know about the history and culture of India," the Shiv Sena chief asked.
According to Thackeray, Veer Savarkar was a great leader who was not just satisfied with his work in the Hindu Mahasabha.
The Shiv Sena chief said he had not retired from politics. "There is no question of retirement."
He said there were no differences between his nephew Raj and son Uddhav. At the Mahabaleshwar congress of the Shiv Sena in January, it was Raj who had proposed Uddhav's name for the post of working president.
He said he came to know of Uddhav's nomination only after going to Mahabaleshwar. "Then how can anyone say that I have imposed Uddhav on the party?" he asked.
He said there might be a difference in the style of functioning between him and Uddhav, but the party's goals would remain the same.
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