Left parties Thursday hit out at the BJP over its Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur's remark that Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse was a "patriot", alleging that the saffron party remains inspired by the killers of the Father of the Nation.
Talking to a news channel in Madhya Pradesh earlier in the day, Thakur said, "Nathuram Godse was a desh bhakt (patriot), he is and will remain one. Those calling him a terrorist should introspect. They will be given a befitting reply in this election."
Reacting to her remarks, the Left parties said that facts should always be kept in mind when talking about Godse.
"The truth about where RSS-BJP stands on terror gets clearer all the time. A senior minister in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's Cabinet said Godse was not a terrorist, now terror-accused Pragya Thakur calls the murderer of Gandhi ji a 'desh bhakt'. The BJP remains inspired by the killers of the Mahatma." CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said.
CPI leader D Raja said that BJP distancing itself from Thakur's comments shows its duplicity.
He alleged that the party allows its leaders to make all sorts of divisive statements and then conveniently distance itself from it.
"It's a fact that Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated and the incident was a well-planned one to spread hatred, create fear and to send out a message. This assassination was carried out by Nathuram Godse. If the BJP thinks Godse was patriot then what was Mahatma Gandhi?" he asked.
Meanwhile, PDP president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said, "Gandhi ji certainly didn't die to let history repeat itself. The BJP should be ashamed for endorsing a candidate who praised Bapu's assassin. He (Godse) was a terrorist & those who admire him are nothing else but Nathuram Godse 2.0 in the making."
Mehbooba said she took pride in being called an "anti-national" when Godse is hailed as a nationalist.
"I take pride in being called an anti-national when a Hindu fanatic who gunned down Gandhi ji is hailed as a nationalist. Aisi nationalism aur desh bhakti humaray bas ki naheen. Yeh aapko mubarak ( I am not capable of such nationalism. You. May keep it), " she added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)