Calling Vinayak Damodar Savarkar a "murderer", former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah slammed the BJP on Friday for its plan to bestow Bharat Ratna to him posthumously.
He said VD Savarkar was one of the accused in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the charges could not be proved due to lack of evidence and he was freed.
"The murderer of Mahatma Gandhi is getting Bharat Ratna! Those who conspired to eliminate Gandhiji are getting Bharat Ratna! Should BJP be allowed to gain a foothold in Mangaluru, known as a land of intellectuals?" Siddaramaiah asked party workers at a meeting.
The Maharashtra BJP unit had said in its election manifesto that the party would ask the centre to confer the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar.
Claiming that the accused in 90 out of 100 cases are acquitted, Mr Siddaramaiah alleged that VD Savarkar was part of the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi.
"Now they have moved ahead to bestow Bharat Ratna to him! What will happen to the nation? That's why somebody said you give it (Bharat Ratna) to (Nathuram) Godse too. Godse was the one who assassinated Gandhiji," he said.
Alleging that RSS and Hindu Mahasabha never took part in the freedom struggle, the former chief minister said they all had ganged up with the British.
He conceded that the Congress could not convince people of their achievements to counter the "communal campaign" of the BJP government at the centre.
Siddaramaiah alleged that the country was facing an economic crisis due to demonetisation and irrational implementation of GST.