Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hammered his party’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Thakur for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot, underlining that this kind of a language could not be tolerated in a civilized society. “She has apologized. That is a different thing. But in my heart, I cannot forgive her,” said PM Modi.
In an interview to TV channel NEWS 24, the prime minister said: “Everything that has been said about Godse and Gandhi is horribly wrong and fit to be hated and criticized. Those who say this should think a 100 times in future”.
Hours earlier, BJP president Amit Shah had put out a string of tweets to send a clear message to the party’s motormouths to back off. Naming three party leaders, including Pragya Thakur and union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde, Amit Shah had asserted that the party had taken their comments seriously and they would face action.
The prime minister’s statement wasn’t the first reaction from the BJP to Pragya Thakur; it is the strongest. It was also a counter to the continuing barrage of criticism from the opposition, particularly since he had earlier defended the BJP’s choice to field Pragya Thakur from Bhopal against former chief minister Digvijaya Singh.
Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blasts case who is out on bail, had stated Godse was and would remain a patriot. She added that May 23 (results day) would give a fitting reply to people who called Godse a terrorist.
Pragya Thakur did eventually apologise for her statement on the party’s orders but that hadn’t really helped. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted her attack: “Distancing yourself from your candidate is not enough. Nationalistic luminaries of the BJP, have the guts to spell out your stand”.
Rahul Gandhi also joined in today. “I finally got it. The BJP and the RSS…Are not God-Ke Lovers. They are God-Se Lovers,” he stated
“The favorite of the Modi-Amit Shah duo – Pragya Thakur – crossed all limits today and committed the unpardonable sin of describing Nathuram Godse as a true nationalist. BJP and its leaders are deliberately and in a concerted conspiracy attacking the thought, the entire way of life, as also the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.