Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched an attack, saying that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar may be “veer” for the BJP, but for the Congress, even the moniker “veer” belonged to Gandhi. This comes a day after Baghel said the BJP supported a violent ideology and Congress leaders raised slogans of “Nathuram Godse murdabad” in the House.
Baghel said in his address to the House, “Gandhi spoke of non-violence while Savarkar believed in violence. It is clear that Gandhi did not fear death, but Savarkar was not averse to attacking someone behind their back. Gandhi is veer for us, while Savarkar is veer for you.”
Baghel said it was well-established the Godse was a “Savarkar follower” who hatched a conspiracy to kill Gandhi. “Nathuram Godse was not a mentally unstable man but represented an ideology. He was trained by an ideology to kill Gandhi,” he said.
The BJP strongly protested against the remarks and demanded that they be expunged. The BJP legislators also staged a protest next to a Gandhi statue in the House lawns.
Baghel said that there was a “serious nationalism” and compassion in Buddha and leaders like Gandhi, Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru that had space for dissent. “However, in the other nationalism that is alive today, there is no respect for life. These people know only the language of violence and if you disagree, you will be crushed. This nationalism has it roots in Germany and from Mussolini in Italy,” Baghel said, referring to Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly Dharamlal Kaushik said, “The Congress got power in the name of Gandhiji, but they were the first to ignore his principles. They imposed the Emergency in 1975 and were responsible for the anti-Sikh riots. “We are proud nationalists and believe in the Constitution and Gandhi. But those who oppose us destroyed Gandhi’s ideals in their 60-year rule,” Kaushik said.
Later in the day, the Congress protested after former minister Ajay Chandrakar suffixed Godse’s name with “ji” while speaking of him. Under fire, Chandrakar said it was in his nature to treat the deceased with respect.