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Pragya calls Godse 'deshbhakt', BJP seeks public apology as Congress attacks (3rd Lead)

IANS  |  Bhopal/New Delhi 

BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Sadhvi on Thursday kicked up a major row by describing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram as a "deshbhakt" (patriot), a comment which her party immediately condemned and asked her to apologise for her remark.

In response, Thakur only said: "Apne sangathan mein nishtha rakhti hun, uski karyakarta hum aur party ki line meri line hai (I have faith in my organisation BJP, am its worker and the party's line is my line."

The comment by Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, provided fodder to the Opposition to target the

"Nathuram 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," Thakur has told reporters in

She was commenting on the recent remarks of and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) who called the first Hindu terrorist of Independent "The first terrorist post-Independence was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu. It started from there. He killed Mahatma Gandhi," Haasan had said.

Unhappy over Thakur's controversial comment, the immediately condemned it.

"We completely disagree with the statement she has made with regard to and we strongly condemn it. The 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 told reporters at the party headquarters in

BJP for Madhya Pradesh Lokendra Parashar said: "The BJP does not agree with her statement. The party will find out about the circumstances in which she made this statement. One who killed can't be a patriot."

Slamming the BJP for Thakur's comment, called it an "insult to the country" and said "India's soul is under attack from the successors of Nathuram Godse, the BJP ruling dispensation."

He said the "BJP leaders are describing the murderer of the Father of the Nation as a true nationalist. This is an insult to the country and an attack on Gandhi's ideology."

Senior Digvijaya Singh, who is pitted against Thakur in Bhopal, termed her comment as "sedition" and demanded an apology from and BJP

Former Jammu and Omar Abdullah, in a tweet, asked: "If the killer of the father of the nation is a patriot does that make Gandhi an anti-national?"

It is not the first controversy that Thakur has been embroiled in. She had earlier said that Hemant Karkare, who had interrogated her in the Malegaon case and was later killed during the 26/11 attacks, had died due to her "curse."

Thakur had also said that she was happy for her role in the demolition of the Her comments had earned her a 72-hour-long ban on campaigning ahead of polling for the Lok Sabha seat on May 12.

Following this, the BJP had to keep restraining her and insulate her from



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 21:16 IST