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  India   Politics  17 May 2019  Furore erupts as Pragya Thakur calls Nathuram Godse a patriot

Furore erupts as Pragya Thakur calls Nathuram Godse a patriot

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 17, 2019, 3:09 am IST
Updated : May 17, 2019, 3:09 am IST

The NCP also asked the Prime Minister to come clean on whether Godse was indeed a patriot as stated by Ms Thakur.

BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur
 BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur

Bhopal/New Delhi: BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur on Thursday lauded Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a “patriot”, sparking an outrage in the Opposition with the Congress alleging  that “insulting martyrs is in the DNA” of BJP, which also condemned her remarks. Facing the heat, the saffron-clad BJP leader later apologised for her remark and withdrew the statement.

“Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), he is and will remain a deshbhakt. Those calling him a terrorist should instead look at themselves. They will be given a befitting reply in this election,” Ms Thakur said in Agar Malwa in Madhya Pradesh while attending a roadshow for a party candidate.

She was replying to a question over actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that independent India’s first “extremist was a Hindu”, a reference to Godse.

The Election Commission took cognisance of Ms Thakur’s remark and sought a “factual report” from chief electoral officer of Madhya Pradesh by Friday.

Even after Ms Thakur apologised for describing the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi a “patriot”, the Congress demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi attacked the BJP saying, “Killers of Godse patriots? Hey Ram! Distancing yourself from your candidate is not enough. Nationalistic luminaries of the BJP, have the guts to spell out your stand.”

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, “Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh should apologise to the country. I condemn the words used against the Father of the Nation. Nathuram Godse was a killer and eulogising him is not patriotism, but an anti-national act.”

The NCP also asked the Prime Minister to come clean on whether Godse was indeed a patriot as stated by Ms Thakur.

“Nathuram Godse is being defended by BJP’s candidate Ms Thakur and is being called a patriot. People can now see @BJP4India ‘s real face through. @SadhviPragya_MP,” Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil said on Twitter.

Reacting to her remarks, the Left parties said that facts should always be kept in mind when talking about Godse.

“The truth about where RSS-BJP stands on terror gets clearer all the time. A senior minister in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s Cabinet said Godse was not a terrorist, now terror-accused Pragya Thakur calls the murderer of Gandhi ji a ‘desh bhakt’. The BJP remains inspired by the killers of the Mahatma,” said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Earlier, Ms Thakur’s remark upset her own partymen.“We have sought an explanation from her as to in which circumstances she made the remarks. The BJP totally disagrees with her statement. One who killed Mahatma Gandhi cannot be a deshbhakt,” said BJP’s state media-cell chief Lokendra Parashar.

This is the second time in a month that Ms Thakur has apologised for a controversial statement. Last month, she had stoked a controversy when she said that IPS officer Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as she had “cursed” him for torturing her. She had apologised for the controversial remark later.

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Tags: pragya singh thakur, nathuram godse