'He Killed One, Rajiv Gandhi Killed 17,000': BJP Lawmaker Drags ex-PM into Pragya Thakur Row
Nalin Kumar Kateel's remarks come amid a raging controversy over BJP's Bhopal pick Pragya Thakur’s statement in which she glorified Godse as a patriot and also when Rajiv Gandhi has become the principle target of the ruling party.
Politics over Nathuram Godse aggravated once again on Friday after another BJP leader compared Mahatma Gandhi's assassin with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Nalin Kumar Kateel, a BJP MP from Karnataka in a tweet on Thursday said: "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, and Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is crueler in this??”
Kateel, is a two-time BJP parliamentarian and is contesting from Dakshina Kannada. His tweet has since been deleted.
Kateel's remarks come amid a raging controversy over BJP's Bhopal pick Pragya Thakur’s statement in which she glorified Godse as a patriot and also when Rajiv Gandhi has become the principle target of the ruling party in the election campaign.
After facing massive condemnation, including from her own party, Thakur apologised late on Thursday night. "I apologise to the people of the country for my statements on Nathuram Godse. My statement was absolutely wrong. I have huge respect for the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi," she tweeted in Hindi.
Earlier in the day, Thakur had kicked up a storm after describing Godse as a patriot. Responding to a question on actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s comments that Godse was the “first terrorist of free India”, Thakur said, “Nathuram Godse ek deshbhakt they, hain aur rahenge (Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will always remain one).”
“Those calling him a terrorist should see inside their own self and a befitting reply would be given to such people in the elections,” Thakur had said while campaigning for her party’s candidate in Agar Malwa in Madhya Pradesh. Thakur was swiftly rebuked by the BJP, which demanded a public apology from her and condemned the remarks.
The BJP has repeatedly invoked Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi, while targeting the opposition party over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards.
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