BJP in damage control mode; PM says won't forgive Pragya
NEW DELHI: Following the huge outcry over comments by BJP leaders glorifying Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, including by Pragya Singh Thakur who called him a "deshbhakt (patriot)", Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a television channel on Friday: "I will never be able to forgive them for insulting Bapu."
On Thursday, Pragya Thakur had said: "Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a fitting reply in the election." This was followed by more comments from three more leaders, Anant Kumar Hegde, Nalin Kumar Kateel and Anil Saumitra.
The BJP tweeted PM Modi as saying in an interview to the channel: "The comments on Gandhi and Godse are deplorable, disgusting and are not language fit for civilised society. Those who say such things should think 100 times. It is a different issue that they have apologized, but I will not be able to forgive them from my heart."
The ruling BJP Friday launched damage control after a rash of comments in favour of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, just two days before the final round of voting for the national election. Pragya Singh Thakur, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel, all contesting the election, have been asked for an explanation within 10 days, BJP president Amit Shah said in a series of tweets on Thursday.
"These comments have nothing to do with the party. All three have apologized, but these comments are against the ideology of the BJP and are being referred to the disciplinary committee," Amit Shah tweeted.
Friday, Nalin Kumar Kateel, a BJP lawmaker compared Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Another Karnataka parliamentarian, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde, tweeted that "seven decades later, the condemned were being heard".
Both the tweets have disappeared from their Twitter timelines. Anant Kumar Hegde put out a message claiming his account had been breached.