Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today ripped into BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde in parliament over his comments calling the Mahatma Gandhi-led freedom struggle "big drama" staged with the "consent and support of the British".
"Aaj ye Mahatma Gandhi ko gaali dete hain. Ye Ravan ke aulad hain. Ram ke pujari ka ye apmaan kar rahe hain (Today, they abuse Mahatma Gandhi. They are children of Ravan. They are insulting Lord Ram's devotee)," said Mr Chowdhury, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.
Many opposition leaders protested against Mr Hegde's comments, which have also been denounced by his own party. Sources have said the BJP has told Mr Hegde to furnish an unconditional apology for the comment that he made at a public meeting last week.
"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," the six-time MP had said.
Mr Hegde today denied he took Mahatma Gandhi's name in his speech.
"Whatever is being shown in the media is a lie. I stand by my statement. I never made any reference to any political party or Gandhi," Mr Hegde told ANI. "If I have said even one word on Gandhi or (Jawaharlal) Nehru or any freedom fighter, then show it to me," said the MP from Uttara Kannada, a minister in the previous government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was dropped when the BJP was re-elected to power last year.
Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Tushar Gandhi tweeted: "Hegde is correct in saying Bapu's Freedom Fight was a drama. It was so intense that it opened the eyes of the British to their immoral colonisation and enslavement of India."