Mangaluru, Feb 03, 2020: The BJP has issued a show-cause notice to its MP Anantkumar Hegde over comments against Mahatma Gandhi, the party’s Karnataka chief Nalim Kumar Kateel said on February 03, Monday.
Kateel said the party’s central leadership has served the notice to Hegde, taking strong objections to his remarks targeting Gandhi and seeking an explanation from him.
Hegde’s comments had irked the ruling party’s top leadership, with speculation rife that he may be forced to tender an apology.
Top sources in the government said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his dismay at Hegde’s comments and that the MP will not be allowed to attend the parliamentary party meeting, which is on Tuesday.
Sources earlier in the day said that Hegde’s swipe at Gandhi has irked the top party leadership and he may be forced to apologise.
At a public event, the six-time MP from Uttara Kannada said the independence movement was staged with the consent and support of the British.
“None of these so-called leaders were beaten by the police with batons even once. Their independence movement was one big drama," he had said.
The Karnataka BJP distanced itself from Hegde’s statements, saying it doesn’t approve of what he has said. State BJP spokesperson G Madhusudhan said the RSS holds Mahatma Gandhi in high esteem and won’t support such “cheap” remarks.
A senior BJP leader said the comments were "condemnable" and the party leadership is upset with him.
"The party has conveyed its displeasure to him and asked him to take remedial measure. Any insult to Mahatma Gandhi is unacceptable," he said.
Hegde had also ridiculed Gandhi’s hunger strikes and satyagraha, terming them as “drama”.
"These Congress people keep saying that we got independence because of the fast unto death or satyagraha. That is not true. The British did not leave India because of satyagraha,” he had said.
The MP also said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor, had nothing to do with Gandhi’s assassination.