BJP President on Friday called Mahatma Gandhi a chatur baniya (a cunning trader), a reference to the mercantile caste to which he was born.
Shah said that Gandhi had rightly advised dissolution of the Congress after Independence.
Addressing a select audience of “prominent citizens” here yesterday evening, Shah also said the Congress was not rooted in any ideology or principles and was sort of a “special purpose vehicle” to secure freedom.
In remarks that raised the hackles of the Congress, which demanded an apology from Shah as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP president went on term Mahatma Gandhi a “bahut chatur baniya”, a very shrewd baniya.
“The Congress party… was constituted as a club by a British man. It was later converted into an organisation engaged in freedom struggle,” Shah said.
It had in its fold both right and left-leaning people like Maulana Azad, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and many others, he said.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee too demanded apology from the BJP president, often notorious for his provocative and senseless remarks.
CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy demanded that Shah seeks an apology for making the “derogatory” remarks.
Former CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat also hit out at Shah, saying his remark reveals “the contempt the BJP- RSS 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, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.
Twitter users too slammed the BJP president, who was accused of being involved in a series of fake encounters and even barred from entering his own state. Shah was acquitted both by the CBI and the Supreme Court in controversial circumstances.
Many reminded him about his alleged criminal past while others felt that he had simply gone too far in his hatred for Congress party.
It only reflects RSS/BJP's utter contempt of Mahatma Gandhi. Shame on you Mr Amit Shah. Apologise to the Nation.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) June 10, 2017
By calling Father of the nation 'Chatur Baniya' @AmitShah has proved, Money & Power doesn't guarantee 'class'. A Cheap person remains cheap.
— Sadhavi Khosla?? (@sadhavi) June 10, 2017
Ladies & gentleman I present the Bjp, President the anti caste champion. Gandhi was just a "chatur baniya"! pic.twitter.com/n7akL2MhdW
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) June 10, 2017
Was deeply upset by the 'chatur baniya' comment. Then realised that this "pronouncement" is timed to drown the SC pronouncement on #Aadhaar.
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) June 10, 2017
"Amit Shah on Mahatma Gandhi: Bahot Chatur Baniya tha"
*What else you can expect from a Tadipaar with no class.https://t.co/7FwizkEFg9
— Saniya Sayed (@Ssaniya25) June 10, 2017
in how many ways can an ideology of hate murder a man, a mahatma? amit shah: Gandhi bahut chatur baniya thahttps://t.co/a0Ui5pcWtq
— Hartosh Singh Bal (@HartoshSinghBal) June 10, 2017
BJP's disdain for Mahatma Gandhi is evident after all RSS members distributed sweets the day Bapuji was murdered. https://t.co/IXiTrx40ab
— Gaurav Gogoi (@GauravGogoiAsm) June 10, 2017
Shah's tone suggests a problem with Gandhi that seems to exceed his dislike for the Congress.https://t.co/21QRtpComb
— Radhika Bordia (@radhikabordia) June 10, 2017
World sees him as an apostle of non-violence and Amit Shah calls him a "clever baniya". Well, what else we can expect from a #tadipar.
— Dheeraj (@yadavdheerajraj) June 10, 2017
Tadipar and murderer/rioter @AmitShah thinks Mahatama was a chatur bania. Hope the world hears how sanghis dishonour countrys heros
— AAP Only Solution (@punj_aap) June 10, 2017