BJP leader and former Union minister Uma Bharti kicked up a political storm on Thursday, October 12, by claiming that the Congress had gained the most from the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse.
Her allegations come close on the heels of a petition in Supreme Court urging it to reopen the case of Gandhi's assassination.
What Uma Bharti said
Bharti, while talking to reporters in Banaskantha in Gujarat, said: "Gandhi ji ki hatya ka fayda sirf Congress ko hua kyunki Gandhi ji Congress ko disperse karne wale they. [Only the Congress benefited from Gandhi''s assassination, as Gandhiji was about to disperse the party.]"
She added: "Vastav mein Gandhi ki hatya punar-vichaarniya hai. Gandhi ki hatya bhaley Godse ne ki ho lekin Godse ko bhadkaane ka kaam kisne kiya. [In reality, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi should be looked into once again. Gandhi was assassinated by Godse, but who provoked him?"
Godse, a right-wing activist, had shot Gandhi from point-blank range in New Delhi on January 30, 1948, killing him on the spot.
Congress reactions forthcoming
The Congress is expected to react strongly to this, and their main argument is expected to be that Godse himself was a right-wing activists, whose beliefs were aligned with the ideologies based on which the Rashtriya Sawayamsewak Sangh (RSS) — the parent organisation of the BJP — came up.
Meanwhile, Bharti's comments may have been a reaction to a petition filed by self-confessed Veer Savarkar devotee and founder of "Abhinav Bharat" Dr Pankaj Phadnis. He had demanded a fresh probe into Gandhi's assassination.
Phadnis had raised questions over the "fourth bullet mystery" in Gandhi's murder.