A day after controversy over remarks of BJP lawmaker Pragya Singh Thakur pertaining to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathu Ram Godse, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said there was no question of the party calling him "deshbhakt" (patriot) and added that they totally condemn such a thinking.
Rajnath Singh made the remarks in Lok Sabha after opposition members protested over Thakur's remarks.
The issue was raised by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury soon after the House met for the day. He said that the assassin had been referred to as a patriot in the House.
Chowdhury was joined by other opposition members including AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi.
The Speaker said that Thakur's remarks had been expunged from the records and there cannot be a debate on an issue that is not on record.
He said the member should have seen the records before raising the issue.
As the opposition members continued to raise the issue, Rajnath Singh said Mahatma Gandhi was a guiding light for the party.
"If someone considers Nathuram Godse as a 'deshbhakt', then our party condemns it. As for Mahatama Gandhi, he is our idol. He is our guiding light and will remain so. His thinking is relevant today and will continue to be so in the future," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress MPs staged a walkout in Lok Sabha amid uproar over the issue.
Singh, who is the Deputy Leader of the House, said all people irrespective of their caste and religion consider Mahatma Gandhi as their idol and source of inspiration.
Thakur had made the remarks during a debate on the SPG Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after DMK member A Raja mentioned Godse during his speech.
Thakur later told ANI that she was referring to Udham Singh and not to Godse.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)