Slamming Home Minister Amit Shah for holding it responsible for India's partition on religious grounds, the Congress on Tuesday advised him to take history lessons and asserted the roots of the two-nation theory were laid by the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League.
Shah had blamed the Congress for partition on religious lines while introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said Shah's statement in the House was completely "baseless" and accused him of lying to the people.
"These people whether it was Hindu Mahasabha or Muslim League ran the government when the Congress leaders were in jail during the struggle for independence. There is a historic relationship between the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League because one kind of communalism needs another kind of communalism to survive.
"That is why I urge the home minister to research Indian history properly and not twist facts of history while presenting them in front of the people," he said.
He also challenged the government to a debate on the contributions of the Congress and the BJP (or its parent body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS) in India's struggle for independence.
Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hit out at Shah over his comments and said the home minister had failed the "history test".
"Amit Shah not only failed the Constitution yesterday, Amit Shah also failed the history test! Savarkar and Jinnah were one in propounding ‘Two Nation’ theory then...descendants continue to bleed India's soul today," tweeted Surjewala.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, when asked about Shah's comments on the sidelines of the Lokmat National Conclave on the 'Role of Regional Parties in Indian Politics', said: "I think he (Shah) really was not paying attention in history classes."
"The fact is that throughout the freedom struggle, the Congress was the one party that claimed to have represented everyone and stood for an India of all religions," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
The only parties that disagreed with the Congress on this were the Hindu Mahasabha, which decided in 1935 that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, and the other being Muslim League which under Mohammad Ali Jinnah proclaimed the same theory, Tharoor said.
"Those were the only ones who felt the Hindus and Muslims were separate nations. The Congress party for much of the period was headed by a Muslim Maulana Azad who was president till about 1945," he said.
The Congress was fundamentally opposed to religion being determining factor of nationhood, he asserted.
On Shah's remarks blaming the Congress, Tharoor said, "They blame the Congress for everything. The Congress and (Jawaharlal) Nehru. Bad weather in Delhi tomorrow, they will blame it on Nehru," he quipped.