Accusing the BJP of having "hatred and contempt" for Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress on Tuesday said if the ruling party was sincere in its love for him, it should expel its leaders Anantkumar Hegde and Pragya Singh Thakur, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should offer an unconditional apology.
Congress leader KC Venugopal, who is AICC general secretary in-charge for the organisation, slammed the BJP and its top leadership for their "half-hearted and shoddy lip service" for getting away with the crime of "insulting" Mahatma Gandhi and the entire freedom struggle.
"If the BJP and its leadership are sincere in their much professed and publicised love for Gandhi Ji and India, Pragya Singh Thakur and Anant Kumar Hegde must be made to resign from all positions and expelled from the party forthwith, and the PM/BJP president should tender an unconditional apology on behalf of the party.
"Failing this, the President of India, who is the custodian of our Constitution, should take necessary action against the culprits," he said in a statement.
Describing as mere "hog wash" reports of the BJP demanding an apology from Mr Hegde, Mr Venugopal said, "Seeking an apology is nothing but a sham to maintain the fig leaf that now barely covers the naked hatred and contempt that the BJP and RSS have towards the Mahatma as indeed generations of freedom fighters who gave their life to the cause of an independent Mother India".
Mr Venugopal said Mr Hegde's comments were merely a reflection of the hatred and animosity the BJP and RSS held towards Gandhi and his ideology.
"It, yet again, exposes how the ideological forefathers of the BJP and RSS were competing to please and appease their colonial British masters, even as tens of thousands of common Indians, under the leadership of the Mahatma and the Indian National Congress, were fighting against the mighty British Empire," he said.