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Tue. Oct 4th, 2022
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KOCHI: A photo of Hindu Mahasabha founder Vinayak Damodar Savarkar appeared on a banner at Athani near Kochi for the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, landing Congress in a spot on Wednesday as it faced a howl of taunts on social media and from BJP and CPM for the faux pas.
The banner featuring freedom fighters was put up by a group from the Chengamanad panchayat to mark Congress’s 3,500-km unity march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. The Hindutva ideologue was placed between images of Govind Ballabh Pant and Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Congress rushed to cover up the mistake and put Mahatma Gandhi’s photo over Savarkar’s after images of the banner made its way to social media, drawing ridicule against the party.
The local Congress leadership blamed a party worker who selected the images of freedom fighters from Google. The party suspended a functionary of Indian National Trade Union Congress for the gaffe. MLA Anwar Sadath said the party worker put up the banner on his own.
Senior Congress politician Jairam Ramesh told reporters later that the yatra team had nothing to do with it, but BJP was quick to seize the opportunity. “Veer Savarkar’s pictures adorn Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. Although belated, good realisation for Rahul Gandhi,” tweeted Amit Malviya, BJP’s IT cell chief.
“It seems all attempts by Rahul to obfuscate history did not work! Veer Savarkar against whom Rahul has been spewing lies was exposed when his #BharatJodo Yatra in Aluva, Ernakulam carried posters of Veer Savarkar,” tweeted Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson.

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