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Congress in damage control mode as picture of Savarkar on poster triggers row

Party suspends INTUC functionary, holding him accountable for the “political mishap”

September 21, 2022 09:27 pm | Updated 09:27 pm IST - KOCHI

The picture of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar among freedom fighters on a banner welcoming Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, at Aluva in Ernakulam.

The picture of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar among freedom fighters on a banner welcoming Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, at Aluva in Ernakulam.

The inclusion of the picture of Hindu Maha Sabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar along with freedom fighters on a banner displayed at Aluva as part of the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has left party leaders red-faced.

The banner, which was displayed at Chengamanad near Aluva, came to the notice of party leaders on the day when Mr. Gandhi was touring the district as part of the Kerala leg of his rally.

The Congress leadership attempted to play it down as “an inadvertent act”, which, according to them, occurred while sourcing pictures of freedom fighters from the Internet.

With the picture of the banner going viral on social media, Congress leaders went into damage control mode and covered the picture with that of Mahatma Gandhi. To save its face, the party suspended an INTUC functionary, holding him accountable for the “political mishap”.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party State president K. Surendran flayed the covering of Savarkar’s picture as an act to appease extremists. “It was with the knowledge of Rahul Gandhi that the picture was covered. The Congress has once again proved that it was against the country by removing the picture from among those of freedom fighters,” he said. He wondered whether the Congress leadership would disown former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who had issued a commemorative stamp on Savarkar.

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