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Pragya calls Godse patriot; draws ire of BJP, opposition parties

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal/New Delhi 

BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate and blast accused Thursday lauded Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram as a "patriot", sparking an outrage from the Opposition with the alleging that "insulting martyrs is in the DNA" of BJP, which also condemned her remarks.

"Nathuram was a deshbhakt (patriot), he is and will remain a deshbhakt. Those calling him a terrorist should instead look at themselves. They will be given a befitting reply in this election," the controversial said in Agar Malwa in while attending a roadshow.

She was replying to a question over remark that independent India's first "extremist was a Hindu", a reference to

Her remarks created a major row with the opposition parties attacking her and the BJP with the NCP saying people can now see the "real face" of the Amit Shah-led party and the demanding an apology from

The BJP immediately got into damage control and distanced itself from Thakur's statement and asked her to tender a public apology.

While BJP Hitesh Bajpai, speaking on her behalf, said that she has apologised for her remark, Thakur refrained from categorical apology.

"I have faith in my party. And party's line is my line," she said later.

Earlier, condemning her comments, BJP G V L in a statement said,"We completely disagree with her statement with regard to We strongly condemn this statement. The party will seek clarification from her as to why she gave this. It would be proper for her to seek and tender a public apology for her objectionable statement."

Attacking the BJP and Thakur, Congress' said,"it is clear, the BJP people are the descendants of Godse. BJP people say Godse was a patriot and martyr was a traitor. Culture of violence and insulting martyrs is the DNA of the BJP."

"Modi-ji's favourite BJP leader, once again insulted the whole nation by calling Gandhi's killer, 'a true patriot'," he said in a statement.

tweeted that Nathuram Godse, who has murdered Mahatma Gandhi, is being defended by BJP's candidate and is being called a patriot.

People can now see BJP's real face through Sadhvi Pragya MP, he further said.

attacked Thakur and tweeted, "If the killer of the father of the nation is a patriot does that make anti-national?" though he did not name Thakur.

Bajpai had said,"Pragyaji has apologised for her statement."

When asked whether she has apologised to the state BJP chief, Bajpai said, "That is not an issue, but she has apologised and took back her statement."

Meanwhile, the election commission has asked the to submit a "factual report" by tomorrow about Thakur's remarks.

This is the second time in a month that has apologised for a controversial statement made by her.

Last month, she had stoked a controversy when she said that had died during the 26/11 terror attacks as she had "cursed" him for torturing her. Later, she apologised and took back her controversial remark.

Thakur was also temporarily banned from campaigning for her hate remarks.

Condemning her statement, senior leader said in Ujjain that praising Godse was not patriotism, but an "anti-national" act.

"ji, ji and BJP leaders from should apologise to the country. I condemn the words used against the Father of the Nation. was a killer and eulogising him is not patriotism, but an anti-national act," the former told reporters in Ujjain.

and former 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 and those who admire him are nothing else but 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.

Both CPI and CPI (M) also criticised Thakur for her controversial.

"It's a fact that 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 BJP thinks Godse was patriot then what was Mahatma Gandhi?" D Raja said.

Kamal Haasan, while addressing an election campaign rally at Aravakurichi (Tamil Nadu) on May 12, had said, "I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Independent India's first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse.

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

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