Pragya Thakur apologises for 'Godse true patriot' remark, says Mahatma Gandhi's sacrifice cannot be forgotten
Prime Minister Narendra Modi brushed aside his party's embarrassment over the controversy sparked by Bhopal BJP candidate Pragya Thakur's comments praising Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, as he addressed his last rally of the general election on Friday in Madhya Pradesh, exuding confidence about the ruling BJP-led NDA winning over 300 seats.
Modi almost invited himself to head the next government.
"The whole nation from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kamrup is saying - Ab ki baar, 300 paar, phir ek baar Modi sarkar (This time, we will cross 300 seats to elect Modi government again)," Modi said adding "The BJP-led NDA is the choice of 130 crore Indians."
"This Sunday when you go to cast your vote you will be scripting history. After decades you will elect a majority government for a second time in a row," Modi told voters.
The fourth and last phase of the Lok Sabha polls in the state will be held on May 19, along with the seventh and last phase in the country.
Modi also sought to link the places where he held his first and last rallies of the current Lok Sabha poll campaign with the nation's freedom struggle.
"My election campaign started from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Now the last rally is being held in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh. From a historical perspective, there is a connection between Meerut and Khargone, which is often overlooked. Both the cities are associated with the 1857 War of Independence," he said, adding that both cities have inspired nationalism.
"In Meerut, Indian soldiers rebelled against the British and in Khargone, freedom fighter Bhima Nayak led a tribal agitation and attained martyrdom," he said.
"The election of 2019 is different from all the previous general elections. In this poll, people of India are voting for their country and not for any party. They are voting to build a 'New India'," Modi said.
Modi said the Congress has not condemned Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's remark that "those who don't get a square meal join the army and become jawans". He asked people to "never forgive" the Congress for its ally's remarks.
Modi invoked freedom fighter and socialist thinker Ram Manohar Lohia to target the Congress saying Lohia, 50 years ago, told Jawaharlal Nehru that the most important issues facing women were water and sanitation.
"I am fulfilling Lohia's wish. After constructing toilets and giving dignity to women, I will focus my next term on ensuring clean drinking water," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)