BJP president Amit Shah has asked three party leaders for an explanation within 10 days for their remarks in support of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, reports NDTV.
After Pragya Singh Thakur called Godse a deshbhakt (patriot), two MPs, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel, came out with remarks in support of Godse, becoming a huge embarrassment for the party just before the last round of voting for national elections on Sunday.
“Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??” tweeted Kateel, a BJP MP from Karnataka. He is contesting the election from Dakshina Kannada.
Hegde, who too is from Karnataka, tweeted saying: “Am glad that 7 decades later today’s generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. #NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with this debate!”
Shortly afterwards, he deleted the tweet and posted: “My Twitter account has been breached twice in the past one week and certain tweets have been posted on my timeline which has been discarded and deleted. Regret the posts attributed to me.”
Earlier, Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal, had said: “Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a deshbhakt and will remain a deshbhakt. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a fitting reply in the election.”
Even after the party distanced itself from her statement, she remained defiant, saying “The party’s line is my line.” But she finally apologised on Thursday night, tweeting in Hindi: “I apologise to the people of the country for my statements on Nathuram Godse. My statement was absolutely wrong. I have huge respect for the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.”