Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Wednesday slammed Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after the latter said that it was on Mahatma Gandhi's request that Veer Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British.
Taking to Twitter, Patole in Marathi said, "Instead of paying attention to the aggression by China and Pakistan on the country's border, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is misleading the people by telling false history (sic)."
Speaking at the launch of the book 'Veer Savarkar: The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition', Rajnath Singh said, "Lies were spread about Savarkar. Time and again, it was said that he filed mercy petitions before the British government seeking his release from jail." "It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file mercy petitions," he added.
Meanwhile, oppositon leaders have attacked Singh after his comment, alleging that he was "trying to rewrite history".
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi shared on Twitter a letter by Gandhi on Jan 25,1920 to Savarkar's brother regarding a case, and accused the Union minister of giving a "twist" to what Gandhi wrote.
The AIMIM leader also said the first petition Savarkar wrote was in 1911, just six months after getting to prison and Gandhi was then in South Africa. Savarkar wrote again in 1913/14 and Gandhi's advice is from 1920, he added.
"Rajnath Singhji is amongst the few sober and dignified voices in Modi Sarkar. But he doesn't seem to be free of the RSS habit of rewriting history. He has given a twist to what Gandhi actually wrote on Jan 25 1920. Here is that letter to Savarkar's brother," Ramesh said on Twitter while sharing the letter.
"Rajnath Singh has clearly blown Gandhi's letter of Jan 25 1920 out of context. Not surprising. This is par for the course for the BJP/RSS," he said in another tweet.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that the BJP will soon declare Savarkar as 'the father of the nation'.
Speaking to ANI, Owaisi said: "They (BJP) are presenting distorted history. If this continues, they will remove Mahatma Gandhi and make Savarkar, who was accused of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi and was pronounced complicit in the inquiry of Justice Jeevan Lal Kapur, as the father of the nation."
(With inputs from agencies)