Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday said that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was first proponent of the two-nation theory.
Aiyar made this comment while speaking on 'Pakistan-India Relations- The Way Forward' during the Iqbal Ahmad Distinguished Lecture 2018 at Forman College, Lahore.
He also trained guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Narendra Modi government at the centre and said Savarkar is an ideological guru of the ruling party.
"Present situation in India is in abhorrence. It is abhorrent because these forces have existed since 1923 when a man called VD Savarkar invented a word which doesn't exist in any religious text, 'Hindutva'. So, first proponent of the two nation theory was ideological guru of those who are currently in power in India," Aiyar said.
Aiyar's statement contradicts the historical theory that Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the first person to bat for two-nation theory in 1940 in Lahore.
The Congress leader also backed his statement on Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah which has invoked criticism in India.
Aiyar also criticised Indian TV anchors for becoming hysterical after he termed Jinnah as "Quaid-e-Azam" at an event in Pakistan on Saturday.
"I referred to Jinnah as the Quaid-e-Azam and the hysterical Indian TV anchors are demanding to know how an Indian can go to Pakistan and say this. We dropped to that level" Aiyar said.
He added that "I know many Pakistanis who call Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as Mahatma Gandhi, does that make them unpatriotic Pakistanis?"
Aiyar was flayed by BJP for lauding Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah even as there is a raging controversy over Jinnah's portrait in Aligarh Muslim University.
The BJP has slammed Aiyar in the wake of the row. BJP President Amit Shah was the first to criticise Aiyar.
On Saturday, Shah said Congress and Pakistan have amazing telepathy.
"Congress and Pakistan have amazing telepathy. Yesterday Pakistan Government remembered Tipu Sultan, whose Jayanti Congress marks with fanfare and today Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar admires Jinnah. Be it Gujarat or Karnataka polls, I fail to understand why Congress involves Pakistan!" Shah tweeted.
BJP Spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Aiyar's statement reveals the true feeling of the Congress party.
Of late, Jinnah is in the news in India. In Aligarh, some groups have protested against the portrait of Pakistan's founder at the office of Aligarh Muslim University student union's office.
The matter hit the headlines after BJP's Aligarh MP Satish Gautam questioned the portrait's presence in the AMU student union office.
On Thursday, 28 students and 13 cops were injured in a clash which broke out between AMU students and the police.