BJP President Amit Shah is nowadays in Chattisgarh to extend base of the party for the upcoming state elections in 2018. For the same, yesterday he attended a meeting of “eminent persons” of the state on the second day of his three days trip and, among other things, ended up calling the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, a “Chatur (clever) Baniya” (Baniya is technically a community found in Hindus and Jains of the subcontinent, who earn their living through commercial enterprises).

Shah in his remarks, according to reports, stated that Congress was not a party based on one principle as people from all ideologies, be it socialists, communists or right aligned conservatives, they all were a part of the party – as the party itself was to be a means to gain independence from the British. Shah then further added that the lack of a common ideology in Congress as well as its inexperience and absence of belief system in matters of policy and governence was the reason as to why Mahatma Gandhi (who was the national leader at the time), being a very clever baniya, suggested after independence of the nation that Congress be dissolved. Shah also said that as Gandhi was not able to do it, some people within Congress were now completing the task, and dissolving the party from inside. He also claimed that BJP and CPI(M) were the only two parties at the moment in the country functioning with inherent democracy in the system.

Shah apparently also made clear his and his party’s stance by saying that BJP was a unified and ideological outfit given their ‘clarity of thought’. He added that the party unanimously agreed that someone shouting anti national slogans would be declared an anti national no matter what.

Shah’s remarks were considered derogatory to the Father of the Nation and it is receiving a lot of flak on Twitter from left, right and centre. BJP is being called out for its continuous lack of respect and integrity. It is not the first time when BJP and its parent organization RSS have found themselves in a coup following remarks on Gandhi and other members of Congress from the past.

However some have come forward in his defense calling the opposition and criticism of the comments as misconstrued and wrongly interpreted.