BJP’s Bhopal candidate, Pragya Singh Thakur has yet again found herself in a controversy. This time, she called Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi a deshbhakt (patriot). Saying that he is one and shall remain so forever which received wide condemnation, even from the BJP party itself. She then later claimed that she would follow her party's line, asserting: "The party's line is my line."
BJP leaders asked her to apologize and also disown the comment, but Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi rubbished that response on Twitter saying:
“Distancing yourself from your candidate is not enough. Nationalistic luminaries of the BJP, have the guts to spell out your stand.”
Thakur’s opponent, Kanhaiya Kumar too took to his Facebook to hit out at her:
Godse is a patriot for the BJP, so it is imperative that we are anti-nationals for them. Thankfully, BJP does not consider us a patriot.
Thakur had been asked to respond to an ongoing controversy over south superstar-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, saying that "Godse, the first extremist of independent India, was a Hindu". To it, Thakur had said, "Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt, is a deshbhakt and will remain a deshbhakt. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a fitting reply in the election.”
Meanwhile, later, her spokesperson and BJP leader Hitesh Bajpai was quoted as telling the Press Trust of India that she had apologized for her remark.
Asked whom she had apologized to, Bajpai said, "That is not an issue, but she apologized and took back her statement."
Pragya Thakur is an accused in the Malegaon blasts, in which six people were killed and more than 100 injured and is out on bail. She was seen as the face of what was termed Hindu terror during the Congress-led UPA government's rule.
A few weeks ago, Thakur had found herself in a controversy when she said that her curse had killed, Hemant Karkare, the police officer who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, and bragging about participating in the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.
Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha.