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Union minister Hegde, BJP MP Kateel jump into Godse row,

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

and his party lawmaker Friday jumped into the Nathuram 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 in the Lok Sabha polls, came days after BJPs candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur lauded 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.

Joining the debate, Kateel tweeted, "Number of people killed by Nathuram is 1. Number of people Ajmal Kasab killed is 72. Number of people killed is 17,000.

Now you tell me who is the most cruel person?"

Another related tweet appeared on of state for skill development and entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegdes official handle.

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.

Hegdes explanation that the handle was hacked did not amuse who came out strongly against the party colleagues' controversial remarks.

Shah said they had withdrawn their statements and have also apologised.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 in Karnataka, which has decided to stage a statewide protest against them Saturday.

Speaking to reporters at Hubballi, state 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 and should have thrown her out of the party.

Condemning the statements of Thakur, Hegde and Kateel, former said: "Pragya Singh Thakur is the daughter of RSS. She is like a terrorist.

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.

There is one who is out to change the constitution. Another one is Kateel, who is Mangaluru MP," told reporters in Hubballi.

The 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.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 19:26 IST