Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anantkumar Hegde downplayed the controversy over his alleged remarks against Mahatma Gandhi saying that he was only trying to “categorise the freedom struggle”, Hindustan Times reported. The former Union minister kicked up a storm on Saturday after he told a gathering in Bengaluru that Gandhi’s efforts to get the country independence were a “drama”.
On Saturday, the BJP leader had alleged that the Congress was working with the British during the independence movement. “None of these so-called leaders were beaten by the police with batons even once,” he had said. “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 BJP issued a showcause notice to the Karnataka politician on Monday.
Clarifying his remarks on Tuesday, the BJP MP claimed that he “never said a word against Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit [Jawaharlal] Nehru”. “I own my statement made on February 1,” he told ANI. “I never made any reference to any political party or Mahatma Gandhi or anybody else, I was just trying to categorise [the] freedom struggle.”
Hegde also accused the media of stirring up the “unnecessary” controversy over his remarks and said that “all related reports are false”.
The BJP leader’s comments also found its way into the Parliament as the Lok Sabha was disrupted with protests against Hegde’s remarks. The Lower House was adjourned till noon due to the uproar, and Opposition leaders chanted slogans and walked out of the House.