Less than eight months after he attacked RSS and BJP over their role in the freedom struggle of India, AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge has repeated the very same comments.
On Thursday, during a rally in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, the senior Congress leader questioned the role of BJP and RSS during the country's independence, questioning 'did even a dog from their houses?' During his speech while launching Congress' second phase of Jan Sangharsh Yatra, Kharge said,
"We (Congress) gave our life for the country and made sacrifices. Indira Gandhi sacrificed her life for the unity of the country. Rajiv Gandhi gave his life for the nation. Tell me, did even a dog die in a house of BJP, RSS for the country's freedom? Tell us, which of your people went to jail (during freedom struggle)?"
But a day after making the derogatory comment, the AICC general secretary went onto defend himself, stating his words meant something else.
"What I meant to say was that RSS speaks about deshbhakt but where were they when the freedom struggle fight was going on. In fact they were the ones who said not to take part in quit India movement and all," he said on Friday.
The BJP launched a scathing attack on the senior Congress leader. RP Singh, spokesperson of the party, said "Congress feels that the independence battle was only fought by them. Lakhs of people put their foot forward, in which there were many RSS workers. His knowledge of history is a bit weak."
RSS' Indresh Kumar also attacked Kharge for his statements. "Congress leaders are expert in abusing and speaking lies. I will only pray to god to give them knowledge. Through the politics of abuses and lie, they have hurt the country," he said.
In February this year, during a session of Lok Sabha, the AICC general secretary had mentioned something similar. "People such as Gandhiji, Indiraji sacrificed their lives for the country's unity, who was there from your side? Not even a dog," Kharge had said.
It drew widespread criticism from many quarters. PM Narendra Modi, later during the session, attacked the Congress party for only recognizing one family for the freedom struggle. "The Congress has never spoken of the contribution of freedom fighters such as Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad. They think only one family has given us freedom," the PM said.