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HomePoliticsBJP leaders’ praise for Nathuram Godse rattles party, Amit Shah steps in...

BJP leaders’ praise for Nathuram Godse rattles party, Amit Shah steps in to control damage

Senior leadership believes remarks could hurt BJP prospects in last phase of polling, initiates disciplinary action against 3 leaders, including Pragya Thakur.

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New Delhi: To rein in its leaders who continue to make controversial remarks on Nathuram Godse, the murderer of Mahatma Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has referred the case of three of its leaders who hailed Godse to its disciplinary committee.

The three include Pragya Singh Thakur, the controversial BJP candidate for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, who Thursday called Godse a “patriot” before apologising for her remarks. She was followed by BJP MPs from Karnataka, Anantkumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel.

Kateel compared Godse with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“Godse killed just one. Ajmal Kasab killed 72. Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. Now you tell us who is the most gruesome murderer?” Kateel tweeted Thursday before deleting his tweet.

Hegde tweeted that he was “glad that the new generation was talking about this”, adding that “Thakur should not apologise on her remarks”. He, however, later claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked.

“My account was hacked since yesterday. There is no question of justifying Gandhiji’s murder,” he tweeted. “There can be no sympathy or justification of Gandhiji’s murder.”

The comments have put the party in a spot, with just two days left for the final phase of polling. The BJP has now swung into damage-control mode with party president Amit Shah himself stepping in to clarify that the three leaders’ comments are not in line with the party’s ideology.

Sources said that the party has also suspended with immediate effect, Anil Saumitra, its media in-charge. He has been relieved from his post after he allegedly called Mahatma Gandhi the father of Pakistan.

Shah steps in after meeting at the highest level

In a series of tweets, Shah distanced the party from the comments made by the leaders, adding that the matter has been referred to the BJP disciplinary committee. He also tweeted that the committee will submit a report on the matter within 10 days.

It is learnt that the issue was discussed threadbare at the highest level in the party and the senior leadership took a call that Shah needed to make a statement on the row as it could potentially hurt the BJP’s image.

The series of tweets are also being seen as an attempt by the leadership to rein in its rogue speakers. Many in the party are dreading the comments made on Godse as they believe that they could have an adverse impact on the last phase of polling.

“We do not want any Mani Shankar Aiyars or Sam Pitrodas in the party,” said a senior BJP leader. “If these leaders cannot do any good, they should stay off ideological debates or observe restraint while speaking on sensitive issues.”

The disciplinary committee, comprising party leaders Bijoya Chakravarty and Satyadev Singh, will now look into the matter.

Reached for comments, Chakravarty said she is yet to receive the official communique from the party office. “I will fulfil my responsibility with due diligence. I know the matter but am yet to receive the letter regarding this,” she added.

Also read: There is a Gandhi and a Godse inside every Indian. We must make peace within us first


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