New Delhi: BJP national president Amit Shah has cracked the whip on party leaders Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Ananthkumar Hegde and Nalin Kateel for their remarks on Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948.
Shah added that the party’s disciplinary committee will seek an explanation from all the three leaders and will submit a report to the party within 10 days.
It started with Kamal Hassan speaking at an election rally for his party MNM candidate in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency, where he avowed, “I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I’m saying this in front of Gandhi’s statue. The first terrorist post-India’s independence is a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse.”
In response to his statement, Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, 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.”
Following in her footsteps, Union minister Anantkumar Hegde on Friday in a now-deleted Tweet on Godse wrote, “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! ” Further, “Time to assert and move away from being apologetic! If not now….When???”
But he soon issued a clarification that his account was hacked and how he would never bestow any praise on Nathuram Godse.
Another BJP leader Nalin Kumar Kateel from Karnataka, compared Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, when he remarked “Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??”
All three came under heavy criticism from both within the party and the public alike.
On Thursday, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao addressed a press conference in Delhi and said that the BJP does not agree with Sadhvi Pragya’s thoughts on Nathuram Godse. “BJP does not agree with this statement, we condemn it. Party will ask her for clarification, she should apologise publicly for this statement.”
Following this, Sadhvi Pragya tendered an apology that read, “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.”