BJP does not recognise Mahatma as Father of Nation: Reddy

Lucknow: Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy on Monday accused the BJP of not accepting Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation and said the party leaders should clarify the issue.

"Even today BJP does not accept Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation. Senior BJP leaders should clarify that whether the party considers Mahatma as the father of the nation or not," Reddy said.

The Petroleum Minister was addressing a seminar -- 'Challenges of communal and caste based politics -- on the occasion of 92nd birth anniversary of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna.

Mahatma Gandhi is recognised all over the world -- like in India -- as the greatest moral and political genius, he said.

"He (Gandhi) was the supreme leader of the freedom struggle and we all regard him as the father of the nation, the title given by none other than Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose," he said.

Reddy alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pleaded for a Hindu state even during the freedom struggle.

"In a book written in 1939, (M S) Golvarkar wrote that in India only Hindus should have civil rights and non-Hindus should not have equal rights," he said.

The union minister alleged that the ideology of the RSS supported the politics of Jinnah and they complimented each other, whereas Gandhi and Nehru wanted to carry both the sections on a common platform of Congress.

"With full moral and intellectual authority I would like to say that for many decades BJP and RSS did not accepted Jana Gana Mana, composed by great poet Rabindranath Tagore as the national anthem, contending that it was not written for India," he said.

It was tragic that such a force (BJP) came to power in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, he said.