Bhopal: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Anil Saumitra was suspended on Friday from the primary membership of the party for calling Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘father of Pakistan’ in his Facebook post. A probe was undertaken in the case by Madhya Pradesh’s BJP unit chief Rakesh Singh. The party has sought Anil Saumitra’s reply in this regard within seven days.

In his social media post, Anil Saumitra also added that “crores of people were born in India like Gandhi, though some were useful and others useless”.

The statement comes in the wake of several instances where BJP leaders have reportedly acknowledged Nathuram Godse, who assassinated the Father of the nation.

Pragya Thakur had stoked a controversy on Wednesday when she called Godse a ‘deshbhakt’, while speaking to the media. Thakur said, “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.”

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After facing backlash, Pragya Thakur had issued an apology stating, “It was my personal opinion remark. My intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. If I’ve hurt anyone I do apologise. What Gandhi Ji has done for the country cannot be forgotten. My statement has been twisted by the media.”

Her controversial statement was a response to Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan’s remarks on Godse. On May 12, during an election campaign for party candidate Aravakurichi Kamal Haasan said, “Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse.” He added, “I am here to question that murder today.”

Meanwhile, yet another person made a controversial remark. Karnataka MP Kateel on Thursday said in a tweet, “Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is crueller in this??”

(With agency inputs)