BJP’s Hegde Denies Calling Gandhi-led Freedom Struggle a ‘Drama’

BJP leader Anantkumar Hegde said that the struggle led by Gandhi was “staged” with support from the Britishers.

3 min read
Anantkumar Hegde, BJP MP.

BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde, on Tuesday, 4 February, denied calling Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom struggle a “drama.”

“All related media reports are false, I never said what is being debated over. It is an unnecessary controversy,” he said.

The issue has been referred to the party's disciplinary committee for further action, sources told ANI.

The BJP on Monday, 3 February, issued a show cause notice to Hegde for his comments against Mahatma Gandhi, news agency PTI reported quoting the party's Karnataka state president Nalin Kumar Kateel.

According to news agency ANI, speaking at an event in Bengaluru on 1 February, Hegde had asked how "such people" came to be called “Mahatma” in India.

“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.”
Anantkumar Hegde, BJP Leader

The six-time Lok Sabha member from Uttara Kannada was quoted as saying by ANI that the struggle led by Gandhi was “staged” with support from the Britishers.

“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.”
Anantkumar Hegde, Former Union Minister

According to the BJP sources, Anant Hegde’s statement on Mahatma Gandhi did not go down well party’s top leadership and Hegde has been asked to issue an unconditional apology, reported ANI.

‘Awaiting PM Modi’s Response’: Congress

The Congress hit out at the ruling BJP over Hegde's remarks, saying a sedition case should be slapped against the former Union minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi must apologise for it, according to PTI.

Demanding Hegde’s expulsion from the BJP, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said it was time for the prime minister to prove whether his loyalty was towards Godse or Gandhi.

Shergill demanded that Modi should apologise for Hegde's remarks and a sedition case should be slapped on the former Union minister.

“The prime minister did not take action against Pragya Thakur, who continues to insult Mahatma Gandhi on a daily basis, and now, Anantkumar Hegde has joined the 'hate Bapu' chorus. The prime minister's love for Gandhi exists only in advertisements and on the ground, 'hate Mahatma Gandhi' seems to be the tool to mobilise his cadres,” Shergill said.

Senior Congress leader Abhsihek Manu Singhvi criticised Hegde’s comment and said that he was awaiting PM Modi’s reaction.

Karnataka Congress leader Priyank Kharge said that Hegde’s remark was unbecoming of an elected representative.

‘What Happened to Disciplinary Committee Inquiry?’

Many Twitter users slammed Hegde’s statement and asked about the findings of the disciplinary committee which was constituted by the BJP to look into his previous comments.

Karnataka BJP, however, distanced itself from Hegde’s statements, saying it doesn’t approve of what he has said, reported News18.

State BJP spokesperson G Madhusudhan said the RSS holds Mahatma Gandhi in high esteem and won’t support such “cheap” remarks.

Anantkumar Hegde is controversy’s favourite child. Earlier, he had sparked a row by calling Congress president Rahul Gandhi a “hybrid product that can be found only in Congress laboratory”. He said that Gandhi claims to be a Brahmin “despite being born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother”.

(With inputs from ANI & PTI)

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