New Delhi, May 17: With controversy escalating over the pro-Nathuram Godse remarks of BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intervened in the row, strictly reprimanding the Hindutva activist-turned-politician. Modi said he would never forgive Pragya Thakur for her remarks which have insulted Mahatma Gandhi.
"(I) will never forgive her for insulting Bapu," Modi said in an interview to a news channel. The PM's stern response came hours after two BJP MPs - Nalin Kumar Kateel and Anantkumar Hegde - furthered the controversy stoked by Pragya Thakur by attempting to defend Godse. Pro-Godse Remarks of Anant Hegde, Pragya Thakur, Nalin Kateel 'Taken Seriously': Amit Shah
"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 befitting reply in these elections," Sadhvi had said.
Being reprimanded by the party high command, Sadhvi issued an apology, saying that she deeply respects Mahatma Gandhi and regrets hurting anyone's sentiment through her remarks in praise of Godse. She further added that her views on Godse were "personal" and not affiliated to the BJP.
BJP MP from Dakshina Kannada dragged former PM Rajiv Gandhi into the controversy, saying, "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this?"
Another Karnataka lawmaker, Anantkumar Hegde, posted a tweet on social media saying that he is "proud" of the new generation which is debating on the legacy of Godse.
"Am glad that 7 decades later today's generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. #NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with this debate (sic)," he said, later claiming that his account was hacked.
BJP president Amit Shah expressed his disapproval, saying that the three leaders have been granted 10 days to explain their remarks. The party's disciplinary committee will take appropriate action against them, he said.