Amit Shah should apologise for his comment on Gandhi: Mamata

"Rather than fighting casteism, they (BJP) identified even the father of the nation with his caste".

New Delhi, Jun 10 Attacking BJP chief Amit Shah for describing Mahatma Gandhi as a "chatur baniya", Opposition parties today demanded that he should apologise to the nation and insisted that the "denigrating" remark is withdrawn. "In reality, before independence, Britishers used the RSS [Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh] and Hindu Mahasabha as a special objective vehicle for the country's partition", he alleged.

"The BJP chief on Friday had referred to Mahatma Gandhi as 'bahut chatur baniya" (a very clever Baniya - the trading caste) while addressing a gathering in Raipur.

"Yeh darshata hai ke Amit Shah ka charitra aur maansikta kya hai (This shows the character and ideology of the BJP President Amit Shah)", added Surjewala. "But in reality, before independence, Britishers used RSS and Hindu Mahasabha as a special objective vehicle (SPV) for partition of the country", Surjewala alleged.

Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "Amit Shah has insulted Mahatma Gandhi, the freedom movement and the sacrifice of freedom fighters by his statement". The BJP president who is now on his 3-day visit to Chattisgarh made this comment on Mahatma Gandhi when he was in an event where a number of "eminent persons" of the state were present.

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The parties also alleged that the comment "exposed" the BJP's "contempt" for the father of the nation. "It is unfortunate, uncalled for and unethical". Shah, in his address also said that the Modi government has proved that it can simultaneously develop villages, farmers and industries through an all-inclusive growth model.

Shah said Mahatma Gandhi could foretell how things would pan out if the Congress - "a party started by a Briton as an association" - continued to exist after Independence and advocated its dissolution.

"They (the Congress) think someone will say this, someone will say that".

President Amit Shah on 9 June called the leader of the Indian independence movement Mahatma Gandhi a "bahut chatur baniya", after which he got tremendously trolled on Twitter.

  • Megan Austin