New Delhi: Karnataka Congress workers on Thursday protested against Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll promise to demand a Bharat Ratna for Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the formulator of Hindutva philosophy. The protest took place near a Gandhi statue in the capital city of Bengaluru.

“Modi is a traitor, he should withdraw the proposal,” said a Congress party worker during the protests, reported news agency ANI. Notably, the proposal was raised in BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly Election.

The protests erupted a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled the values (sanskar) of Veer Savarkar which was the basis for nationalism and nation-building. “Yeh Veer Savarkar ke hi sanskar hain jo rashtrawad ko humnein rashtra nirman ke mool mein rakha hai,” said PM Modi at the election rally in Maharashtra’s Akola.

It must be noted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday praised Savarkar amid this row over his party. Speaking at an event in Varanasi, the national BJP president, as quoted by news agency ANI said, “Had it not been for Veer Savarkar, the rebellion of 1857 would not have become history, we would have seen it from the point of view of Britishers. Veer Savarkar was the one who named the 1857 rebellion as the first independence struggle.”

Maharashtra’s 288-member assembly constituency is scheduled to go to polls on October 21. The results will be declared on October 24. Notably, the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra Assembly will end on November 9.