JD-U slams Amit Shah for calling Gandhi 'chatur baniya'
Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Saturday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah's remark describing Mahatma Gandhi as a "chatur baniya".
JD-U Spokesperson Neeraj Kumar told the media that Shah had insulted the nation and its people by using a "caste" name to address Mahatma Gandhi.
"At a time when the country is celebrating 100 years of Champaran Satyagrah of Gandhi, the BJP President has insulted him and the 1.25 crore people of India."
Neeraj said Shah, who was himself an accused in serious criminal charges and jailed for his criminal acts, was now targeting Mahatma Gandhi by naming his caste. "It is shameful and unforgivable."
On the other hand, JD-U ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders said that Shah, by calling Gandhi a "chatur baniya", had exposed his own and the BJP's mindset and their real agenda.
However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday refused to say anything over the BJP President's statement.
Nitish Kumar, also President of the JD-U, maintained silence over Shah's speech.
He simply ignored queries from the media on Shah's remarks and walked to his vehicle surrounded by security personnel after attending an official function here.
Amit Shah should apologise for his comment on Gandhii: Mamata
Taking strong exception to BJP president Amit Shah's comment on Mahatma Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today demanded that he withdraw it and apologise to the country.
"He should withdraw his comment and apologise for it.
It is a deliberate act. It is unfortunate, uncalled for and unethical," she told reporters here.
"Gandhiji is the father of the nation and he is an icon of the world. No one should think that he can say anything only because he is in power", she said.
In a tweet, Banerjee said, "When we, in public life, speak about icons of our nation and the world, we must always show utmost respect and sensitivity with language".
The BJP chief had yesterday referred to Mahatma Gandhi as a "bahut chatur baniya" (a very clever Baniya - the trading caste) while addressing a gathering in Raipur.
Congress demands apology from Amit Shah for remarks on Mahatma Gandhi
The Congress on Saturday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah for his remarks about Mahatma Gandhi being a "clever baniya".
"Amit Shah's remark about the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi is an insult to him, it's an insult to the freedom struggle and the sacrifices of the freedom fighters. Has the entire struggle become a mere business? Was building the nation was a business?" asked Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
"Only Amit Shah, who does trade of power and BJP can give such indications. Would Mahatma Gandhi be now identified with his caste?" he questioned.
Surjewala said: "By associating Mahatma Gandhi with a business model, he has insulted the sacrifices that were made during the freedom struggle. The Britishers used Hindu Mahasabha and the Sangh as a special purpose vehicle for the partition of the country."
"After independence, they have become a vehicle to oppress Dalits, and the weaker sections. This is their real face and character," he added.
Slamming Shah, Surjewala said: "Identifying Gandhi with caste exposes the real face, character and mindest of Amit Shah."
"We demand that Amit Shah, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra should apologise to the people and the families of the freedom fighters of the country for insulting their struggle. Shah has indulged in a heinous crime and an anti-national act. There can't be a bigger crime than this," he said.
Shah, while addressing a group of people in Raipur, on Friday said: "The Congress is not a party based on one ideology or one principle, it is a special purpose vehicle to gain independence… this is why Mahatma Gandhi with foresight, he was a very clever baniya, he knew what was going to happen, he said immediately after independence that the Congress should be dissolved.
"He didn't do it, but some people are now completing the job of dissolving it. He had said this because the Congress had no ideology, was not formed based on a principle, and did not have any principle to run the country or government," Shah had said.