Alleging that JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was purposely being targeted, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday said that even freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi and Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak were arrested under sedition charge during the British rule.

"Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak were also arrested on sedition charge during the British rule. Sedition law has been used against freedom fighters during independence struggle. However, we oppose the atmosphere created by BJP in the country over the JNU issue," he said.

"Once upon a time, RSS and BJP gave certificates to people of being Hindus. Now, they want to give certificate of patriotism as well. These are the people who didn’t take part in the independence struggle and considered helping the British government as patriotism. These people are teaching us new definition of patriotism in independent India," the Rajya Sabha member said.

He alleged that in order to cover up its shortcomings and failures, the Narendra Modi government has raked up the JNU issue and ignited a debate of patriotism and sedition. "It is trying to thrust fascist ideology on people," he said.

The senior Congress leader said that Kanhaiya Kumar is being targeted deliberately and claimed that investigators don’t have any proof to show that he raised anti-national slogans.

"BJP runs the government in Kashmir with such a political party whose members openly chant slogans against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. But when a JNU student indulges in such sloganeering, he is charged with sedition," the Congress leader alleged.

Asked to comment over HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s address in Parliament on February 24, Singh claimed that she was keen on joining the Congress just 15 days ahead of becoming a BJP member.

"Irani’s educational qualifications are not yet known," he said.

The Congress leader alleged that due to the pressure of the Modi government on NIA, the investigations against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit being tried for terror attacks were going on at snail’s pace.