Bhopal, May 16: Pragya Singh Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh, on Thursday triggered a fresh political row by calling Nathuram Godse a patriot. Speaking to a reporter, Pragya Singh Thakur said Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1947, was a patriot and will remain a patriot always.
"Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot and will remain a patriot," Thakur told the reporter. "People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections," she added. She was apparently referring to Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan's statement that independent India's first terrorist was "Hindu" Nathuram Godse.
Pragya Singh Thakur's remarks on Nathuram Godse:
#WATCH BJP Bhopal Lok Sabha Candidate Pragya Singh Thakur says '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 pic.twitter.com/4swldCCaHK
— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2019
Speaking at an election rally on Sunday for his party candidate in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency where by-elections will be held on May 19, Kamal Haasan said: "The first extremist of independent India was a Hindu -- Nathuram Godse. It all started from there." Despite facing criticism, he reiterated his remarks in Thiruparankundram Assembly constituency on Wednesday.
Not a stranger to controversies, Thakur was barred from campaigning for 72 hours by the Election Commission for her remarks about former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare and for expressing pride about her role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
Soon after her candidature was announced, Thakur claimed to have cursed Karkare, which, according to her, led to his death. Karkare was killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.