Union minister Anantkumar Hegde and his party lawmaker Nalinkumar Kateel Friday jumped into the Nathuram Godse row with tweets about Mahatma Gandhi's assassin that left the BJP red-faced and triggered outrage.
The tweets by Hegde and Kateel, seeking re-election from Karnataka in the Lok Sabha polls, came days after BJPs Bhopal candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur lauded Godse as a patriot, before her party distanced itself from her remarks.
She issued an apology hours later saying she respected Gandhi and his work for the country cannot be forgotten.
Sharing a woman's tweet, Hegdes tweet read, "Am glad that 7 decades later todays generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon.
#NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with the debate.
Another tweet that appeared on Hegdes page said, "Time to assert and move away from being apologetic! If not now... When???
It was a comment while sharing Shakuntala Iyer's tweet "Freedom of Expression isn't propriety of JNU libtard ecosystem. If they could stand by Kasab, a Paki, who murdered Indians in daylight that too with evidence captured, Why not at least READ the defence written supporting Godse and against Gandhi. Agree or disagree.
The tweets were later found deleted and another tweet surfaced on Hegdes timeline.
It read, "My account was hacked since yesterday. There is no question of justifying Gandhi ji's murder.There can be no sympathy or justification of Gandhi ji's murder.
We all have full respect for Gandhi ji's contribution to the nation.
Shah said they had withdrawn their statements and have also apologised. However, he added, their remarks were against the decorum of public life and the BJP, and also against the party's ideology.
"Taking serious note of their remarks, the party has decided to send them to the disciplinary committee," Shah said.
The remarks of Hegde and Kateel drew widespread flak especially from the Congress in Karnataka, which has decided to stage a statewide protest against them Saturday.
Speaking to reporters at Hubballi, Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao said, "Tomorrow we are going to stage demonstration across the country against Pragya Singh Thakurs statement that Nathuram Godse was a patriot.
Hegde and Kateel too are standing in support of her statement."
He said if the BJP did not endorse her view, then prime minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah should have thrown her out of the party.
Can we expect anything better from her? You cannot expect anything better about Godse from a person with a terrorist mindset. The BJP is full of such people.
The Congress leader wondered how to call "these people" patriots, "who have no respect for those who fought for the freedom of the country..."
Hegde is no stranger to controversies and has often landed himself in trouble with his remarks on various issues.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)