Ananthkumar Hegde denies charges against him

Ananthkumar Hegde denies charges against him, says he did not say anything against Mahatma Gandhi

A day after the party snubbed him over comment against Mahatma Gandhi led freedom struggle, BJP MP Anant Kumar Hegde on Tuesday said that he never said anything against Gandhi or anybody else.

Apparently trying to wriggle out, he clarified that in his entire speech he did not take anybody's name and instead just referred freedom struggle and it was the media which twisted my speech.

"All related media reports are false. I never said what is being debated over. It is an unnecessary controversy. I own my statement made on February 1, 2020, in Bengaluru. I never made any reference to any political party or Mahatma Gandhi or anybody else, I was just trying to categorise freedom struggle. That's all," Hegde told a television news agency.

"I am surprised by the discussion around it. What can I say about something that is not there? There is hullabaloo going on without anything. My statement is available in public forum. If anyone wants to see, it is available online and on my website. Show me if I have said anything against Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and any other freedom fighters," Hegde, an MP from Uttara Kannada said.

Separately, former Union Minister also sent a written reply to BJP national president J P Nadda and the party disciplinary committee which issued him a show-cause notice on Monday. Earlier in the day Karnataka state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel and MP P C Mohan also met him.

There is a view in the party that what the former Union minister said might be in bad taste but its content was distorted in some media reports, a senior BJP leader said.

Speaking at an event in Bengaluru on Saturday Hegde said freedom fighters who did not sacrifice anything made the country believe that it attained independence through 'Upavas Satyagrah', Gandhi's preferred mode of agitation by undertaking fast.

The Gandhi-led freedom struggle was an "adjustment" with the British, he said, and also suggested that contribution of revolutionaries and other freedom fighters who were not associated with the Congress were undermined.

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