Former Union minister and BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde stoked another controversy when he described the freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi as "drama" and said his "blood boiled" when he read history and "such people came to be called Mahatma".
While addressing a public event in Bengaluru on Saturday, the Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada said the entire freedom movement was "staged with the consent and support of the British".
"None of these so-called leaders were beaten up by the cops even once. Their independence movement was one big drama. It was staged by these leaders with the approval of the British. It was not a genuine fight. It was an adjustment freedom struggle," he said.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also termed Mahatma Gandhi's hunger strikes and satyagraha a "drama".
"People supporting Congress keep saying that India got independence because of the fast unto death and satyagraha. This is not true. The British did not leave the country because of satyagraha," he said.
"Britishers gave independence out of frustration. My blood boils when I read history. Such people become Mahatma in our country," Hegde said in his concluding statement.
BJP asks Hegde to apologise
Top party leadership is reportedly unhappy with Hegde's comment and have asked him to issue an apology.
Hegde who is always in the news for the wrong reasons is a serial rabble-rouser. The Karnataka MP was dropped when the BJP was re-elected to power last year.
Hegde calls Rahul Gandhi a 'hybrid-type'
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Hegde controversially called Congress leader Rahul Gandhi a "hybrid-type", saying "his father is a Muslim, mother a Christian and he himself a Brahmin". He had also declared that "any hand that touches a Hindu girl should not exist".
His remarks on Mahatama Gandhi have been criticised by his grandson Tushar Gandhi and the Congress.
Taking to Twitter, Tushar Gandhi wrote: "Hegde is correct in saying Bapu's Freedom Fight was a drama. It was so intense that it opened the eyes of the British to their immoral colonisation and enslavement of India."
(With agency inputs)