Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar has said that Hindu nationalist leader Veer Savarkar cannot be a national issue today, given the many pressing issues that the country is facing. This comment comes in the wake of a controversy over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha and his recent ‘I am not Savarkar’ remark. While Pawar himself has advised the Congress to desist from criticising Savarkar, he has acknowledged the leader’s sacrifice for the country’s independence and progressive views. Pawar reportedly told Gandhi that Savarkar was not RSS, and the Congress has agreed to tone down its attacks on Savarkar so as not to offend its allies in Maharashtra. In response to the BJP’s demand for an apology from Gandhi for a speech he made in the UK, Pawar said that the criticism of the government is not new, and that such issues should be addressed.