New Delhi: All India Congress Seva Dal — a Congress affiliate — has distributed a booklet with controversial claims about Veer Savarkar in its ongoing ten-day training programme in Bhopal. Titled ‘Veer Savarkar, Kitne Veer’, the book claims that there was a physical relationship between Savarkar and Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse.

“Before Nathuram Godse adopted Bramhacharya, there is just one mention of his physical relationship. The only physical relation which Godse had before adopting Bramhacharya was a homosexual relationship with his political guru Veer Savarkar,” the booklet mentions claiming that it’s quoting from Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collin’s book ‘Freedom at Midnight’.

Seva Dal chief Lalji Desai has defended the claim, calling it “historical fact” and saying it is “important to know the reality of people presented as heroes by the BJP”. “Writer has written on the basis of evidence. That’s not important… whether he was gay or not. In our country today, everyone has a legal right to have their own preferences,” he told news agency ANI.

“(But) what has been mentioned is a historical fact supported with proper references. It is important for the public to know the reality of the people who are presented as heroes by the BJP,” he added.

The book also alleged that Savarkar received money from the British after he was released from Andaman’s Cellular Jail. In the second booklet — RSS aur BJPkuchh tathya aur jankari (The RSS and the BJP, some truths and facts) — the Congress Seva Dal has claimed the organisation (the RSS) “idolised” Adolf Hitler and Mussolini.

Madhya Pradesh BJP chief Rakesh Singh hit out at the Congress over the book, alleging that the Congress was badmouthing patriots, especially those who were the well- wishers of “the majority community”.

The controversy comes close on the heels of the row that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stirred by sating that his name was not “Rahul Savarkar” and hence he was not afraid and won’t seek apology for his ‘rape in India’ comment.

(With Agency Inputs)