Bengaluru, October 18: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for considering to award controversial freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar with the Bharat Ratna. The senior Congress leader said Savarkar was listed as an accused in the conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi, and by according the top honour to him, the BJP might pave the way for honouring Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse. Nathuram Godse Killed Mahatma Gandhi, Pragya Singh Thakur Killed His Soul: Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
Siddaramaiah, while addressing party workers in Mangaluru on Friday, said the ruling dispensation headed by the BJP is treading the nation down towards a destructive path. The party along with its ideological affiliates is spreading division and disunity in the society, he alleged.
"BJP is planning to give Bharat Ratna to Savarkar who is accused of conspiring to kill Gandhiji. BJP might also honour Godse with Bharat Ratna. I don't know what's happening in this country," Siddaramaiah said.
Update by ANI:
Congress's Siddaramaiah at party workers conference in Mangaluru earlier today: BJP is planning to give Bharat Ratna to Savarkar who is accused of conspiring to kill Gandhiji. BJP might also honour Godse with Bharat Ratna. I don't know what's happening in this country. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/FjuPymHlBT
— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2019
The controversy was stoked after the Maharashtra unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised in its election manifesto to ensure Bharat Ratna - the country's top civilian honour - for Veer Savarkar for his role as as a freedom fighter.
The point on Savarkar drew a sharp reaction from the Congress, which accused the BJP of disrespecting Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
"Why does NDA/BJP Government want to confer Bharat Ratna on Savarkar, why not Godse? Former was only chargesheeted and later acquitted for assassination of Gandhi while latter was convicted and hanged. On his 150th anniversary if you want to defile his memory then go the whole nine yards," Congress veteran Manish Tewari had said.