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BJP condemns Pragya Thakur’s ‘Godse is patriot’ remark; opposition steps up attack

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Thursday distanced itself from Pragya Singh Thakur‘s praise for Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, even as the opposition stepped up attack on the party and sought a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We completely disagree with her statement and strongly condemn it. The BJP will ask her why she made such a statement. It would be proper for her to tender a public apology for this objectionable statement,” BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said, rejecting Pragya Thakur’s statement that “Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’, is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’.”
The BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat made the controversial statement when she was questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, which was made in reference to Godse.
Reacting to Pragya’s statement, the Congress alleged that insulting martyrs is in the “BJP DNA” and demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked PM Modi to punish Pragya Thakur for her remarks.
“It is clear, the BJP people are the descendants of Godse. BJP people say Godse was a patriot and martyr Hemant Karkare was a traitor. Culture of violence and insulting martyrs is the DNA of the BJP,” Surjewala said.
“Modi-Amit Shah ji’s favourite BJP leader, Pragya Thakur once again insulted the whole nation by calling Gandhi’s killer, Nathuram Godse ‘a true patriot’,” he said in a statement.
The BJP, through its leaders, is repeatedly launching “malicious attacks” on the Father of the Nation’s thinking, path and ideology, Surjewala alleged.
“This is a conspiracy to insult Gandhian principles. This is an unforgivable crime which the country will not forgive. If Modi ji has some wisdom then he should punish Pragya Thakur and apologise to the country,” the Congress leader said.
Digvijaya Singh, the Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, also reacted sharply to Pragya Thakur’s remarks. “Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and the state BJP should give their statements and apologize to the nation. I condemn this statement, Nathuram Godse was a killer, glorifying him is not patriotism, it is sedition,” he said.
“If the killer of the father of the nation is a patriot does that make Mahatma Gandhi anti-national?” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said in a tweet, though he did not name Thakur.
The NCP asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clear whether Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was indeed a patriot as stated by Pragya Singh.
“Nathuram Godse, who has murdered Mahatma Gandhi, is being defended by BJP’s candidate Pragya Thakur and is being called a patriot. People can now see @BJP4India ‘s real face through.@SadhviPragya_MP,” Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil said on Twitter.
NCP general secretary Jitendra Awhad alleged that Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, belongs to the same fraternity as “terrorist” Godse.
This is not the first time that Pragya Thakur has embarrassed the BJP. She was earlier forced to apologise after claiming that IPS officer Hemant Karkare, who was killed by terrorists during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, died as she had cursed him after her arrest in Malegaon blast case.
Pragya’s remarks evoked strong reactions from several parties.
(With inputs from agencies)

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