The Hindu Mahasabha on November 15 commemorated the 66th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as 'Balidan Divas' and launched a website on his life even as a senior RSS ideologue disapproved of any action "glorifying" him.
As Godse's effigy was burnt by Congress workers in Thane in Maharashtra, the BJP distanced itself from the right wing outfit's programme and attacked the Congress for linking it with Godse's death anniversary.
"We observed the martyrdom day of Godse at 100 locations across India. A website on the life and times of Godse was launched by our Meerut unit," Hindu Mahasabha president Chandra Prakash Kaushik told PTI in Delhi.
He said a book on the life and ideals of Godse was released in Delhi. Godse was hanged on November 15, 1949 following his conviction in the killing of Gandhi on January 30, 1948.
But senior RSS ideologue M G Vaidya disapproved of attempts to glorify Godse.
"I do not know which organisation is glorifying him. But I believe that to glorify him is wrong," he said.
Noting that Gandhi and Godse could have different ideologies, he said ideological battles have to be fought through ideology and it has "no place for bloodshed."
Vaidya said while Gandhi had spread awareness about independence in his lifetime, it does not mean that "we agree with all his policies."
"Some people say it will bring pride to Hindutva. No. It will bring a bad name to Hindutva," he said in an apparent reference to Hindu Mahasabha's programme.
"I can even say, Hindutva has suffered due to the assassination of Gandhi," he said.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the BJP believes in the principles and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and considers Godse as his assassin.
"Someone celebrates his 'birthday' but BJP is blamed for it. This is an example of cheap politics being played by Congress," he said responding to questions about Congress' allegations that the programme has the support of the BJP.
He said while Congress uses the Mahatma's name, it has forgotten his philosophy.
Congress workers in Maharashtra's Thane burnt Godse's effigy in protest against the Mahasabha's action and those supporting the programme.
They also carried black placards condemning the move of the city-based outfit to build a temple for Godse.
The outfit had last year announced to build a temple in memory of Godse.