Will never forgive Pragya for insulting Mahatma Gandhi: PM Modi

Clay Curtis
May 20, 2019

Under fire for her "Nathuram-Godse-was-a-patriot" remark, BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate Pragya Singh Thakur tendered an apology on Thursday night and said she respected Mahatma Gandhi as his work for the country can not be forgotten.

Thakur, who is standing as the ruling party's candidate in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal was asked to respond to an ongoing controversy over south superstar-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's remark that "Godse was the first Hindu extremist of independent India".

A BJP spokesman said the party did not agree with Ms Thakur's comments and would ask her to publicly apologise, media reports said. If people who murder such Mahatmas are called patriots, then all terrorists can be called the same. "The statements given about Gandhi Ji or Godse are very bad and wrong for the society".

Critics accused the right wing party of using Thakur to polarise voters along religious lines. Thakur said, "Nathuram Godse ek deshbhakt the, hain aur rahenge (Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will always remain one)".

Modi is seeking a second term as prime minister in the election but faces a tough challenge from Congress.

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As her statement went viral, two BJP MPs - Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel - also came out in her support.

"She has sought an apology but I would never be able to forgive her fully".

Rabri Devi also took a dig at Nitish for his statement about short duration for polls, saying he contested the Lok Sabha poll in alliance with the BJP and he is speaking up on the last day of polling. A host of Congress leaders condemned Hegde and Kateel's statements with minister D K Shivakumar deeming the culture "dangerous".

Godse, Gandhi's assassin, was once a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, a strident Hindu nationalist organization that is the parent of the BJP. Watch our video to understand how people reacted to her statement.

Later, she tendered an apology on Thursday night and said she respected Mahatma Gandhi as his work for the country can not be forgotten. I have withdrawn the tweets as soon as I realised that it has hurt sentiments. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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