New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told television channel News24 that he would not be able to forgive those who insulted Mahatma Gandhi.
Four BJP leaders had glorified Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse in the past few days. The party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur, 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.” This was followed by comments from three other leaders, Anant Kumar Hegde, Nalin Kumar Kateel and Anil Saumitra.
A report on NDTV on Friday said the BJP tweeted Prime Minister Modi as saying in an interview to the channel: “The comments on Gandhi and Godse are deplorable, disgusting and are not language fit for civilised society. Those who say such things should think 100 times. It is a different issue that they have apologised, but I will not be able to forgive them from my heart.”
Pragya had earlier received strong endorsement from Prime Minister Modi when the Opposition had attacked the BJP for fielding the Malegaon blast accused. Her candidature was “a symbolic answer to all those who falsely labelled the rich Hindu civilization as terrorist”, Modi had said last month.
Nalin Kateel had compared Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Hegde had tweeted that “seven decades later, the condemned were being heard”. Both the tweets later vanished from their timelines. Hegde even claimed his account had been breached.
Another leader, Anil Saumitra, was suspended after he tweeted that Mahatma Gandhi was the “father of Pakistan” and “crores of people were born in India like Gandhi, though some were useful and others useless”.