Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse was independent India's first terrorist, Kamal Haasan said at a campaign event on Sunday.
Kamal Haasan, the leader of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), was campaigning in Avarakurichi with S Mohanraj, his party's candidate for the bypoll on May 19.
"I'm not saying this because there a lot of Muslims here. I said this in front of Gandhi's statue. The first terrorist of independent India was a Hindu," Kamal Haasan said, as he spoke to voters from a campaign van. "His name was Nathuram Godse."
Nathuram Vinayak Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi dead in New Delhi on January 30, 1948.
"I've come to question that killing -- think about it that way," Kamal Haasan said.
"Good Indians," he added, wanted India to be equal and peaceful, and have "all three colours" of the tricolour.
"I am a good Indian," he said.
Tamilisai Soundararajan, the BJP's leader in Tamil Nadu, said Kamal Haasan's remarks were "condemnable" and accused him of appeasing minorities.
"Standing amidst minorities in TN by-election campaign he is lighting a dangerous fire to gain votes by minority appeasement. Kamal didn't opine on recent Sri Lanka bomb blast, why?...But dares to take up [a] decades-old event which was well-enquired & guilty punished?" she tweeted.
Kamal Haasan tweeted about the attacks in Sri Lanka -- which were claimed by Islamic State and blamed on two little-known Islamist groups -- on April 21.
Tamilisai Soundararajan also brought up a 2013 controversy surrounding a ban on Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam: "He threatened to leave India when his film screening was prevented by religious groups! But now he calls himself [a] true Indian!"