BJP leader Anantkumar Hegde labelled the freedom movement led by Gandhi as “not a genuine fight but an adjustment freedom struggle”.
Controversial BJP leader and former Union minister Anantkumar Hegde waded into yet another storm by claiming the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi was a “drama”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, said it does not approve of Anantkumar Hegde’s comments and that the issue will be referred to a disciplinary committee.
He has been asked to tender an unconditional apology for his comments on Mahatma Gandhi by his party, news agency ANI reported on Monday.
Anantkumar Hegde, a six-time Lok Sabha member from Uttara Kannada, made the comments at an event on Hindutva icon VD Savarkar in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Hegde said that none of the “so-called leaders” had been beaten by the police even once and “the entire Independence movement was a staged big drama with the consent and support of the British”.
He also labelled the freedom movement led by Gandhi as “not a genuine fight but an adjustment freedom struggle”.
The former Union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship had also derided the Congress, saying that “people support the Congress saying that India got Independence because of fasts and Satyagraha. This is not true. Britishers gave us independence out of frustration”.
Hegde also attacked the anti-CAA protests and said the Rs 120 crore funding for it was just the tip of the iceberg and that ‘more rats will come out.’
He also said that Savarkar’s ideology and methods are relevant even today.
His statements came in for severe criticism from the opposition parties, including Congress.
“Anant Kumar Hegde is perhaps reflecting the views of his masters. If he is not, his comments should invite the strictest possible action from his party,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
Another Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi also hit out at Hegde on Twitter.
“Awaiting Narendra Modi who invokes Mahatma Gandhi at the drop of a hat especially when repackaging his ideas & to gain international credibility to comment on Mr Hegde who is a senior BJP Leader,” Singhvi, the Congress’ spokesperson, tweeted.
A senior BJP functionary said the party does not approve of Hegde’s comments.
Referring to Hegde’s comment, the functionary said both Prime Minister Modi and the party leadership are “extremely angry with such a proposition and some disciplinary action is likely”.
On the party failing to reign in Hegde, who has left the party embarrassed on several occasion, the functionary said, “He lost his ministerial berth…”
Hegde has been at the centre of controversy many a time.
He had labelled former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer S Senthil as a traitor and asked him to “go to Pakistan”. He had also called Congress’ Karnataka unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao as somebody who “went after a Muslim lady”.