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Amit Shah's 'chatur baniya' remark for Mahatma Gandhi unethical: Opposition

Mamata Banerjee termed the comments 'uncalled for and unethical'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

describing as a "chatur baniya" on Saturday triggered a political row with calling the chief "a trader of power" and demanding an apology from him as well as Prime Minister for insulting the father of the nation.

While Chief Minister termed the comments "uncalled for and unethical", general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy demanded that Shah seeks an apology for making the "derogatory" remarks.

Former (M) general secretary also hit out at Shah, saying his remark reveals "the contempt the BJP- has for Gandhiji".

"Rather than fighting casteism, they (BJP) identified even the father of the nation with his caste. This shows the character and ideology of the ruling party and its president. Where will these people take the country?" party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked.

"We demand that Amit Shah, and Prime Minister apologise to the country, the families of freedom fighters and every citizen for insulting the freedom movement... And the father of the nation," he said.

The chief had yesterday referred to as a "chatur baniya", a reference to the mercantile caste to which he was born, who had rightly advised dissolution of the after Independence.

Addressing a select audience of "prominent citizens" here yesterday evening, Shah also said the was not rooted in any ideology or principles and was sort of a "special purpose vehicle" to secure freedom.

In a hard-hitting response, Surjewala alleged that "Amit Shah, who himself is a trader of power, is today saying that the freedom movement was a business model. But in reality, before independence, Britishers used and Hindu Mahasabha as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for partition of the country."

He also said, "similarly, today BJP is acting as a SPV for few corporates for taking care of their business interests."

According to the Congress leader, Shah's remarks were "an insult to freedom fighters, their sacrifices and also to Gandhi".

secretary D Raja said Shah, being president of the ruling party, should be aware of the language to be used while describing a leader of Gandhi's stature.

"We have no problem when he criticises Congress or other opposition parties (during political discourse). But dragging Mahatma Gandhi's name, using such a language is denigrating Gandhi," Raja said.

According to Karat, Shah only revealed the BJP's actual opinion about Gandhi.

First Published: Sat, June 10 2017. 21:14 IST