Hyderabad: Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday hit out at Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse 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 the, hain aur rahenge (Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will always remain one).”
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief said the sadhvi was only speaking her party’s mind.
Further, launching an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for defending and endorsing Thakur’s candidature, Owaisi said the BJP might soon even recommend the Bharat Ratna (posthumous) for Godse, whom he referred to as “Independent India’s first terrorist”.
He wrote on Twitter, “Remember, @narendramodi has defended & endorsed Pragya’s candidature. This is not a ‘lunatic fringe’ & is definitely not her “personal opinion”, it is the BJP standing by Independent India’s first terrorist. In few years, Sri Sri Godse will also be recommended with a Bharat Ratna.”
Earlier, Owaisi had come out in support of Haasan who was at the receiving end of the BJP and its allies for his remark on Godse and “Hindu terror”.
He had slammed the BJP leadership for targeting Haasan and accusing the latter of indulging in “divisive politics”.
As Thakur’s remarks invited sharp responses from the Congress and other political parties, the BJP plunged into a course-correction mode.
Senior party leader and publicity in-charge of Thakur’s campaign Hitesh Vajpayee said Gandhi was well-respected in the country and the BJP would not entertain any disrespect to his image.
However, he denied the Hindu terror narrative in the same vein, saying terrorism did not have any caste, creed or colour.
BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao said his party condemned the statement and did not agree with it. “The party will ask her for clarification, she should apologise publicly for this statement," he added. Later, she tendered an apology to the state BJP unit.
"I believe in my organisation, I work for it, and the party's line is my line," Thakur said.
Congress media cell in-charge Narendra Saluja said, “She had also made a mockery of late Hemant Karkare’s martyrdom and now she has spoken in this manner about Mahatma Gandhi’s killer. This exhibits the BJP’s ideology and also exposes what kind of candidate the party has fielded in Lok Sabha polls.”