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BJP’s Hegde says didn’t mention Mahatma Gandhi in speech, denies charges against him

According to BJP sources, the parliamentarian is said to have sent a detailed reply to party president J P Nadda, and the party's disciplinary committee, claiming that he neither used words like "drama" nor made any reference to Mahatma Gandhi.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | New Delhi |
Updated: February 4, 2020 8:22:10 pm
Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde. BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde.

Facing flak over his remarks terming Mahatma Gandhi’s role in the freedom struggle as “drama” and an “adjustment” with the British, BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde denied making any reference to the Father of the Nation or any political party. “With due respect to all our freedom fighters, it was just a discussion on the freedom struggle. There is no confusion on any derogatory comment on freedom struggle or with freedom fighters. Unnecessarily they (opposition leaders) are making a nuisance,” said Hegde.

According to BJP sources, the parliamentarian is said to have sent a detailed reply to party president J P Nadda, and the party’s disciplinary committee, claiming that he neither used words like “drama” nor made any reference to Mahatma Gandhi.

He further claimed, “I have categorically told and I am particular that I own up to my statement made on February 1 in Bengaluru. I have never taken reference to any political party, Mahatama Gandhiji or anybody else. I was trying to categorise the freedom struggle. That’s all.”

The Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka stirred controversy for his address at the inauguration of a literary event on V D Savarkar in Bengaluru on February 1.

Speaking in Kannada at an event in Bengaluru on Saturday to commemorate Veer Savarkar, Hegde said freedom fighters who did not sacrifice anything made the country believe that it attained independence through ‘Upavas Satyagrah’, Gandhi’s preferred mode of agitation by undertaking fast.

“Such people became ‘Mahapurush (great person),” said Hegde, who is no stranger to controversies. The Gandhi-led freedom struggle was an “adjustment” with the British, he said, suggesting that the contribution of revolutionaries and other freedom fighters who were not associated with the Congress were undermined.

Following this, the BJP leadership Monday expressed its displeasure over the remarks and issued a show-cause notice has to Hegde.

Defending Hegde in the Parliament, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, another BJP MP from Karnataka, said on Tuesday, “These people (from the opposition) are unnecessarily making an issue. The concerned member has clarified that he has said nothing like that. In spite of that, we have told him to express regret.”

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