The Congress also demanded that a sedition case be slapped against the former union minister and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise for the remarks.
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, said the 51-year-old Uttara Kannada MP, as he mocked Mahatma Gandhi at an event in Bengaluru on Saturday.
"Such people became ''Mahapurush (great person)", said Hegde, who is no stranger to controversies.
"Those who sacrificed their lives and worked towards big reforms in the country were dumped in the dark corners of history, but those who fought in adjustment with the British became freedom fighters with certificate.....
"This is the tragedy of the country," the 51-year-old six-time Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada said at the event in memory of BJP''s Hindutva icon VD Savarkar.
Karnataka state BJP spokesperson Go Madhusudan said his party disapproves of the statement and that its central leadership has asked Hegde to tender a public apology. The statement has been disowned by the party, he added.
BJP sources in Delhi said the central leadership including Modi is upset at Hegde''s remarks, calling it unacceptable, even as it sought an explanation from the former union minister and issued a show cause notice to him.
The party''s Karnataka state president Nalin Kumar Kateel told PTI that the party took strong objections to Hegde''s remarks targeting Mahatma Gandhi.
In a video of the Bengaluru event which has gone viral, Hegde was heard saying "There were two types of freedom fighters, one which believed in ''Shastra'' (arms) and another in shaastra'' (intellectual motivators)".
There was also another category "who used to ask the British how to carry out" the freedom struggle and say, "We will agree to whatever you (British) say...simply adjustment and understanding, like 20-20 (cricket match)," the MP said in a rambling speech and possibly referring to a T20 cricket match in the context of some instances of match fixing.
In Hegde''s view, this third category of freedom fighters had pleaded with the British to recognise their freedom struggle and requested that they be imprisoned.
"They said it''s enough if you(British) properly take care of us, nothing more than that."
The Congress demanded that the prime minister must come to Parliament and clarify his position on Hegde''s "objectionable" remarks, with its senior spokesperson Anand Sharma saying it was time for Modi to show whether his loyalty was with Gandhi or his assassin Nathuram Godse.
"They are desperate for elections and only to get some votes, they are inflicting deep wounds on the soul of India," Sharma told reporters in Delhi.
Demanding Hegde''s expulsion from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), another Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said Modi should apologise for his remarks and a sedition case be lodged against the former union minister.
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah slammed Hegde for speaking "low" about Mahatma Gandhi and others and said he was ''unabashed'' despite complaints about his controversial remarks in the past while his party MP D K Suresh likened him as an"unwanted object for everyone" including the BJP.
Recalling Hegde''s statement in 2017 favouring changing the Constitution, Siddaramaiah, a former Karnataka chief minister, said the Centre could not take any action against him and allowed him to continue as the union minister.
Slamming Hegde, Suresh advised him to "get himself checked in NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences)".
"If he is speaking so much, it''s because of those freedom fighters," he added.
In December 2017, when he was the Union minister for Skill Development and Enterpreneurship, Hegde had mocked secularists with his remark that they are unware of their parentage.
He had also then said he respects the Constitution but "it will be changed in the days to come... We are here for that and that is why we have come."
Hegde had also been booked in the past for his "hate speeches", including one where he allegedly equated Islam with terrorism. PTI GMS RS KR SKC ASK GSN GSN GSN
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI