Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday strongly condemned the statement made by its Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and said she should apologise publicly for terming Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’ (true patriot).
“We completely disagree with the statement made by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur about the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi ji. We strongly condemn this particular statement. The party will ask her for clarification, she should apologise publicly for this statement,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told media.
#WATCH BJP Bhopal Lok Sabha Candidate Pragya Singh Thakur says ‘Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’, is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections pic.twitter.com/4swldCCaHK
— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2019
Earlier in the day, when questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that India’s first terrorist was a Hindu (in reference to Godse), Thakur had said, “Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’, is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’.”The BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat had claimed that comments like these by Haasan would dent his electoral prospects. “People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections,” she had said.
VL Narasimha Rao, @BJP4India on Pragya Singh Thakur’s statement “#NathuramGodse was, is & will remain a ‘deshbhakt”: BJP does not agree with this statement, we condemn it. Party will ask her for clarification, she should apologise publicly for this statement pic.twitter.com/9OMt2EQt9k
— NewsMobile (@NewsMobileIndia) May 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is contesting against Thakur from Bhopal, also sought his opponent’s apology for her remarks. “Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and the state BJP should give their statements and apologise to the nation. I condemn this statement, Nathuram Godse was a killer, glorifying him is not patriotism, it is sedition,” he said. Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, is not new to controversial remarks. After being fielded by the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, she had said Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, died because she had cursed him.
While Thakur drew flak for the comment, a notice was served by the Election Commission, thereby forcing her to withdraw her statement.In addition, Thakur was barred from campaigning for three days by the poll body for her comments about Babri Masjid demolition. “I will go to make the Ram Temple. I have said it before and I am not denying it that I had gone there. I have demolished the Babri structure. He is my Ram ji and no one can stop me from making a grand Ram temple. The nation is Ram, Ram is a nation,” she had said.
An FIR was also filed against her for these remarks.
(With ANI inputs)