By Express News Service

JAIPUR: The Congress high command on Wednesday asked for a report on the controversial remarks made by GS Dotasra, the party chief in Rajasthan, who had praised Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar on Monday. 

The party high command has asked the AICC in charge of the state to probe the issue and submit a factual report on Dotasra’s statement. The state in charge Ajay Maken has also sought a report and the complete video of the statement from the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress.

Congress insiders say that the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi has taken Dotasara’s remarks seriously. She has directed AICC general secretary KC Venugopal to seek a full report on Dotasara’s statement. The Congress High command is likely to take a final call on this issue after examining the full video of Dotasra’s comments on Savarkar and his role in the freedom struggle. 

ALSO READ | Row as Rajasthan Congress chief accepts Savarkar as freedom fighter, BJP thrilled

Speaking on the occasion of August Kranti Diwas in Jaipur on Monday, Dotasara had remarked that “we can’t deny that Savarkar did not play any role in country’s freedom struggle. He used to talk about Hindu Rashtra but it was not wrong at that time as our country was not independent and our Constitution was not formed.” 

BJP leaders were quick to claim that Dotasara’s statement implies that he accepts the role of Savarkar in the freedom struggle and the truth about Savarkar’s contribution is finally being realized by Congress leaders such as Dotasara. Many BJP leaders now argue that though the Congress has attacked the Hindutva ideologue for decades, Savarkar in reality played a major role in freeing the country and that truth cannot be denied anymore — as Dotasara’s remarks reflect.

Though Savarkar is seen as a hero by parties and groups which subscribe to Hindutva views, the Congress has always regarded him as an insider of the British.

Far from accepting him as any freedom fighter, the Congress sees him as a dubious character who apologised to the British to get out of jail and his ideology of a Hindu Rashtra is unacceptable to the Congress.

In this context, Dotasara is now being accused of crossing the party line. 

Placed on the backfoot by this controversy, Dotasara has clarified that his remarks have been twisted by the BJP to suit its political goals. The Congress chief, who is also the Education Minister in the Gehlot government said, “I did not make any statement outside the party line in this whole episode. My statement is being misinterpreted.” 

In his detailed clarification, Dotasara claimed that the country got independence because of people who believed in the ideology of the Congress, and asserted that “the BJP and the RSS are conspiring to use Savarkar’s ideology (of Hindu Rashtra) to create disharmony. We are against this ideology.” In a nutshell, Dotasara claims that he did not say anything against the Congress view on Savarkar.