Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah’s calling Mahatma Gandhi “bahut chatur baniya” gave way to a slugfest on the social media site Twitter.

There were users who condemned the use of the term against the Father of the Nation, but many opined that there was nothing wrong, citing ‘smart businessman’ as its translation.

Addressing a group of “eminent persons” of Chhattisgarh on Friday, Shah had said: “…bahut chatur baniya tha who (Mahatama Gandhi), usko maloom tha aage kya hone waala hai, usne azadi ke baad turant kaha tha, Congress ko bikher dena chahiye.”

“Mahatma, ‘murdered’ again, this time with language,” tweeted senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. However, he was questioned for his views by others, who wanted to know what was wrong with the words used by Shah.

“Rajdeep you become a Digvijay…see the context, and ‘chatur bania’ A SMART businessman… Whts the wrong… ‘taunch maal’ to nhi bola,” replied one Priyajit Chakraborty to Sardesai’s tweet.

“@BJP4India Gandhi was a chatur bania and Modi and shah are notorious and cheater banias. They have cheated farmers of India,” one Swarup Upadhyay tweeted.

“It is tragic that Amit Shah remembers Mahatma Gandhi as mere Chatur Bania; not as votary of non-violence, peace, secularism & brotherhood,” said Twitter handle RKhuria.

“To #AmitShah calling #Gandhi a #ChaturBaniya I can only say #HeyRam…the words he used when killed by a fanatic,” tweeted journalist and author Saba Naqvi‏.

Meanwhile, the Congress sought an apology from the BJP president, saying Shah has degraced the apostle of peace and all those who fought for the Independence.