Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) installed the first ever bust of MK Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, at their office in Meerut on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Sunday.
The Hindu outfit also observed the day of Gandhi's birth as "Dhikkar Divas".
Stating that there couldn't have been a "better day" to install the statue, Pandit Ashok Sharma, National Vice President of the outfit, told The Times of India, "Our step signifies that it is time all Indians stop following Gandhi's footsteps and start worshipping Godse."
Made of stone by artisans in Jaipur, the statue weighing 50kg is two-feet high and two-feet wide.
During the unveiling ceremony, the ABHM also urged the Modi government not to discriminate between Godse and freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
"If the Modi government praises Savarkar and garlands his photo in the Parliament house every year, then it will have to also acknowledge the contribution of Godse. It cannot discriminate between Godse and Savarkar because both come from the same ideological stream which the RSS and BJP is so scared to accept out of political opportunism," Sharma told The Hindu.
Referring to the recent surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army on terror launchpads, Sharma said that the military action is a sign of the government moving away from the Gandhian ideology.
"Do we follow Gandhian principles these days? The recent surgical strikes done by the Indian Army gives my answer. All of us follow Godse's principles, but still praise and worship Gandhi. Had we been following Gandhi's footsteps, surgical strikes would not have happened. I offer my condolences to the families of the soldiers who died in Uri attacks and pray that Indian Army keeps giving befitting replies to Pakistan just like they recently did," Sharma added, according to TOI.
An earlier plan by the ABHM to install the statue in 2014, had kicked up a storm. The group was, however, stopped from carrying out their plan, with their Meerut office sealed off by the police and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC also imposed.
Speaking about their plans to launch "Godse Libraries" across the country to propagate Godse's "worldview", Munna Kumar Sharma, National General Secretary of the ABHM had then told The Hindu, "In the propagandist history of India, Godse was an evil guy because he killed Gandhi. But we want to tell the masses that he was an ultra-nationalist who wanted to stop the division of the country and thereby also stop the bloodshed which marked the division of the 'Akhand Bharat' (unified India)."
The outfit also had plans to install Godse's statues in temple premises in India and was reportedly in touch with temple trusts and saints for the matter.
Formed in 1907, the ABHM, describes itself as "a hindusangathan movement and politics of hindutva. Hindu Mahasabha is a non-secular party, established for safeguarding issues of Hindus."