Politics
Pragya Singh Thakur, Anantkumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel, who are all BJP candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections spoke in favour of Nathuram Godse.
Forced to be on the back foot, BJP President Amit Shah on Friday asked three party leaders to explain their recent comments supporting Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. Pragya Singh Thakur, Anantkumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel, who are all BJP candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were asked to explain their statements made in favour of Nathuram Godse. 

"In the last 2 days, the statements of Shri Ananthkumar Hegde, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Nalin Kateel are their personal statements. Those statements have nothing to do with the Bharatiya Janata Party", Amit Shah tweeted. 

"These people have withdrawn their statements and have apologised. Even then, these statements which are contrary to public life and the dignity and ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party, have been taken seriously by the party. These statements have been sent to the disciplinary committee," he added. 

 

An internal party disciplinary committee will submit a report over the issue in the next ten days. 

Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, the controversial BJP candidate from Bhopal, while speaking at a poll campaign in Malwa in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, reportedly described Godse as a deshbhakt or patriot. "Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt', is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'". Though she did not directly apologise or withdraw the statement, she later told the media that her line was that of the BJP's that Godse should not be revered.

Anantkumar Hegde, a Union Minister from Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, had also supported Godse in a tweet. He is notorious for having made a number of controversial statements over the years. "I am glad that seven 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," he tweeted. He is the party's candidate from Uttara Kannada constituency. 

He later claimed that his account had been hacked and that he did not endorse the statement. "My account was hacked since yesterday. There is no question of justifying Gandhi ji's murder. There can be no sympathy or justification of Gandhi ji's murder. We all have full respect for Gandhi ji's contribution to the nation," he later tweeted on Friday. 

Meanwhile, BJP's candidate from the Dakshina Kannada constituency, also spoke in favour of Godse. "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this?", he tweeted.  The tweet has since been deleted. He tendered an apology in a tweet on Friday morning. "I have noticed that my last two tweets have been criticized. I apologize if anyone is hurt by it. It was not my intention to hurt anyone. I have retracted the tweet as soon as I realised it hurting. Let us finish the discussion here," Nalin tweeted in Kannada.