PM Modi Wades Into Godse Row, Says Will Never Forgive Pragya Thakur for Insulting Mahatma Gandhi
Thakur stirred a controversy when she termed Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin a patriot, saying those calling him a terrorist would get a befitting reply in elections.
File photo of PM Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday finally broke his silence on his party leader and BJP’s Bhopal pick Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s remark on Nathuram Godse, saying he would never be able to forgive her for insulting Mahatma Gandhi.
Asked about Thakur’s remarks during an interview with a news channel, Modi condemned the statement and said he could not forgive the insult.
Thakur stirred a controversy when she termed Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin a patriot, saying those calling him a terrorist would get a befitting reply in elections. Responding to a question on actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s statement calling Godse the first terrorist of independent India, Thakur said: “Nathuram Godse ek deshbhakt the, hain aur rahenge (Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will always remain one).”
She added, “Those calling him a terrorist should see inside their own self and a befitting reply would be given to such people in the elections.”
As her remarks created a political flutter, Thakur ultimately relented and apologised. “I apologise for my statement. I respect Mahatma Gandhi ji a lot and he has done a lot for the country,” the party's Bhopal candidate said, adding that she did not intend to hurt anyone's sentiments. Thakur claimed that the media had "twisted' her statement.
This the first time the Prime Minister has come down heavily on Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon Blasts case. Earlier, he endorsed her candidature when the Opposition questioned the rationale of the BJP behind giving her a ticket.
Defending Thakur, PM Modi said she was being defamed by the Congress, which had also insulted Hinduism and its sages. He also recalled the accusations he faced as Gujarat Chief Minister to drive home the point.
"I faced so many allegations that a wave was generated against me. If you look at newspapers and online media, you'd find lakhs of pages written against me. That's what influenced the United States to revoke my visa," the Prime Minister said. "But when the truth came out, the same United States extended an invitation to me. This is the Congress' modus operandi to propagate lies," he said in an interview to a news channel.
The Prime Minister also referred to the court's decision not to bar Thakur from contesting elections. "India's age-old legacy has been tarnished by coining the term 'Hindu terror'. This thing has to be taken head on. They said 'chowkidar chor hai'. I challenged it upfront by becoming a chowkidar," PM Modi said.
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