The DMK on Monday hit out at BJP chief Amit Shah for describing Mahatma Gandhi as a ‘chatur bania’, saying it was a “demeaning” remark. Gandhi had made people realise that India was a ‘bouquet’ of many faiths, DMK working president M K Stalin said. Such a remark by Shah, the national president of BJP, which had a “brute majority”, was “regrettable”, Stalin, also leader of the opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly, said. “On behalf of DMK, I strongly condemn it,” he told reporters in Chennai.
During his visit to Chhattisgarh, Shah had said Congress was ‘special purpose vehicle’ to secure freedom, with its members comprising those with different ideologies. “And therefore, Mahatma Gandhi, with a lot of foresight — he was a very shrewd baniya — he knew what was going to happen in future. He had said immediately after Independence that Congress should be dissolved,” Shah had said.
Shah’s reference to the mercantile caste of Gandhi has sparked a political row with the Congress and other opposition parties demanding an apology from him for allegedly insulting the Father of the Nation.
Responding to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s statement that Stalin’s efforts to bring down the AIADMK government had failed, the DMK leader said he was not involved in any such efforts. “They are themselves toppling their government,” he said in an apparent reference to the split in AIADMK, with Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam leading two factions amidst perceived efforts by party Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran to assert his position.