Describing the Congress as a party that was never set up on the basis of ideology, BJP president Amit Shah said the party was launched as a special purpose vehicle to secure Independence.
This is the reason, he went on, that Mahatma Gandhi advocated the party’s dissolution right after Independence. “He was a Chatur Baniya,” Mr Shah said, a description that has provoked angry responses from the Congress and others.
Shah said the Mahatma Gandhi could foretell how things would pan out if the Congress – “a party started by one British as an association – continued to exist after Independence and advocated its dissolution.
“Mahatma Gandhi didn’t disband the Congress, but now some people are finishing the task of dismantling Congress party,” the BJP president said.
The BJP president is in Chhattisgarh as part of his nationwide tour to prepare the party for the next round of elections in late 2018, and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP president who often talks about rooting out Congress from India was addressing a group of ’eminent’ persons in the state capital Raipur.
The Congress promptly demanded an apology from Shah.
“The BJP president has insulted Mahatma Gandhi, the Independence movement and those who bravely fought for the independence by calling them businessman in context with the freedom struggle,” Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
Senior Congress’ leader Digvijaya Singh said Mr Shah’s descriptor “only reflects RSS/BJP’s utter contempt of Mahatma Gandhi”.