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‘Different views part of democracy’: Aaditya on Raut’s Savarkar remark

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Mumbai, Jan 18: Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday sought to defuse tension between his party and the Congress over a proposal to confer the Bharat Ratna - the country's highest civilian honour - to Hindu nationalist VD Savarkar.

Aaditya Thackeray

"We may have different perceptions about some subjects... but this is what we call democracy. Despite having different ideologies, parties come together in the interest of country and state. Democracy means different ideologies can work together...," Aaditya Thackeray told reporters.

"The Shiv Sena-Congress alliance is strong and we came together for the development of the state. We may have different views on certain issues but this is what democracy is. Instead of history, we need to talk of current issues," Thackeray said.

"All are 'Ratnas' (jewels). It is in the BJP's hands to award Bharat Ratna since it is ruling at the Centre. We have to think whether these 'ratnas' would be sad or happy seeing the present state of GDP and economy," the 29 year-old said.

Raut on Saturday stirred up a controvercy saying those opposing Bharat Ratna award for Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar should be made to spend two days in the Andaman Cellular Jail, the erstwhile colonial prison, where the freedom fighter had been lodged during his incarceration.

Raut's statement can potentially put his party, which shares power in Maharashtra with ideologically different Congress and NCP, in a spot.

The Congress is against offering the highest civilian honour to Savarkar, who is hailed in high esteem by the right wing parties.

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