“In my Vol 1 and in countless interviews I had stated already that in 1920 Gandhiji advised Savarkar brothers to file a petition and even made a case for his release through an essay in Young India 26 May 1920. So what’s noise about,” Sampath said.

Tweeting on the issue, another historian S Irfan Habib said, “Yes, monochromatic history writing is really changing, led by the minister who claims Gandhi asked Savarkar to write mercy petitions. At least it is accepted now that he did write. No documentary evidence needed when the minister makes a claim. New history for New India.”

Owaisi attacked Singh and said,”Sir @rajnathsingh you said that Savarkar’s grovelling mercy petitions were on Gandhi’s advice. Here’s the letter to Savarkar from Gandhi. No mention of petition to the British begging for leniency, mercy and promising to be a faithful servant of the crown.”

BJP ally JD(U) too waded into the row over Rajnath Singh’s claim, with party spokesperson K C Tyagi demanding that letters exchanged between Gandhi and Savarkar should be made public to shed light on the matter.

“While it is true that Savarkar spent many years in jail, it is also true that he tendered an apology and was freed with the consent of the British administration after he reached a pact with them”, Tyagi said, adding that he also decided to withdraw from politics following his release.

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