Taking on BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde for calling the freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi a "drama", Congress' Jaiveer Shergill on Monday claimed that the remark came from a party that opposed the 'Tricolour, Quit India Movement and the Constitution. Shergill further asserted that the BJP should rename its party to Gandhi's assassin--Nathuram Godse Party. In retaliation, the Congress leader further noted that Mahatma Gandhi does not need a 'certificate of patriotism' from the BJP who 'licked the boots of the British.'
"Mahatma Gandhi does not need a certificate of patriotism from a party which used to lick boots of the British. Anantkumar Hegde comes from an organisation which opposed the Tricolour, which opposed the Constitution, and opposed the Quit India Movement," Shergill said. "The way the number of Godse-bhakts (devotees of Godse's ideology) is increasing in BJP, the party should rename itself to Nathuram Godse Party," Shergill said.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi tweeted, "Awaiting Narendra Modi who invokes Mahatma Gandhi at the drop of a hat especially when repackaging his ideas and to gain international credibility to comment on Mr Hegde who is a senior BJP leader."
This comes after Hegde attacked Mahatma Gandhi by calling the freedom struggle led by him a "drama" and also questioned as to how "such people" come to be called 'Mahatma' in India. While addressing a public event in Bengaluru, the Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada said the entire freedom movement was "staged with the consent and support of the British". "None of these so-called leaders were beaten up by the cops even once. Their independence movement was one big drama. It was staged by these leaders with the approval of the British. It was not a genuine fight. It was an adjustment freedom struggle," he said. The BJP leader has not apologised for his remarks.
The senior BJP leader also termed Mahatma Gandhi's hunger strikes and satyagraha a "drama". "People supporting Congress keep saying that India got independence because of the fast unto death and satyagraha. This is not true. The British did not leave the country because of satyagraha," he said. "Britishers gave independence out of frustration. My blood boils when I read history. Such people become Mahatma in our country," Hegde said in his concluding statement.
BJP's Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur had stirred controversy, after she shockingly hailed Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse inside the Parliament two months ago. However, the terror-accused BJP candidate was only barred by the BJP from attending parliamentary party meet amid the ongoing winter session for calling Godse a 'true patriot.' During a similar utterance in the past, PM Modi has stated that he would 'never forgive' for insulting Gandhi and calling his murderer a 'true patriot.'
(With agency inputs)