Savarkar statue in Marseilles: BJP flays Govt for inaction

via PNS | New Delhi published on July 8, 2009

The BJP on Wednesday trained guns at the UPA Government for not giving its consent to a proposal for installing a memorial for freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the French city of Marseilles. BJP MP Gopinath Munde raised the matter in the Lok Sabha during the zero hour saying 100 years ago on this day Savarkar had escaped from a British ship, which had docked near Marseilles, when he was being brought to India after being arrested in London for his anti-British activities.

“Savarkar swam across to the shore but was re-arrested in Marseilles, brought to India and imprisoned in the Celullar Jail in the Andamans. The Marseilles Mayor had agreed to put up Savarkar’s statue and had written to the Government for its consent but was yet to receive a response,” Munde said.

He was backed by leader of the Opposition LK Advani who sought to know the factual position regarding a letter written by the Mayor of Marseilles expressing willingness to install a memorial and whether the Government had any objection to such a move.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy’s response to Advani’s demand brought the entire BJP on its feet in protest. “We will respond to it whenever necessary,” he replied.

BJP’s deputy leader Sushma Swaraj was quick in asking what did he meant by ‘whenever necessary’ and demanded the Government to come out with a clear reply. Narayanasamy tried to end the debate by saying he would convey the sentiments of the members to the Minister concerned.

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