Congress members created an uproar in the Rajya Sabha over BJP MP Sakhshi Maharaj's remark calling Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a "patriot" at an event organized in Maharashtra earlier this month.
"Godse was an aggrieved person. He may have done something by mistake but was not an anti- national. He was a patriot," PTI quoted Maharaj as saying.
Congress MP Husain Dalwai condemned Maharaj's remark and said he had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis about the event organised by some religious leaders and former MLAs in Maharashtra.
"A person who has created an example of non-violence in the world and whom we called Father of the Nation was killed by Nathuram Godse," Dalwai said.
"Mahatma Gandhi's killer is being eulogised by hosting his 'Shaurya Diwas' in Maharashtra...These people talk of development, but are trying to create a rift in society," he added.
Soon after the opposition created a ruckus over his statement, the MP from Unnao retracted his statement saying he must have said it by mistake. "I do not consider him a rashtra bhakta (patriot). I might have said something by mistake," he said.
The BJP government distanced itself from the latest controversy and said that it disapproved of any such event hailing Mahatma Gandhi's killer but also added that "no organisation should be defamed."
Godse, a right-wing activist, shot Gandhi thrice in the chest on 30 January 1948, a year after India got its independence. Godse was later hanged on 15 November, 1949, in Ambala Prison.