Opposition MPs,on Friday forced BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj to apologise for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot” — remarks that drew the government’s condemnation and party chief Amit Shah’s disapproval.
The Unnao MP is the third parliamentarian in under 10 days to have been forced to apologise in the Lok Sabha — preceded by Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Trinamool’s Kalyan Banerjee.
The disruption prompted Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to sarcastically ask if she should set aside five minutes every day for apologies. Shah told the BJP MPs that such statements were getting attention as the party was in power. “BJP MPs and leaders should stay away from such statements. They should adopt restraint,” he said at an interaction.
Opposition members from Congress, RJD, TMC and Left trooped into the Well raising slogans against the government and Sakshi Maharaj like ‘Hey Ram, hey Ram; Gandhi ke hatyare ko diya samman’ (eulogising Gandhi’s killer) and ‘doshi Sarkar hai hai’ (down with the guilty government). He withdrew his controversial remarks but went on to accuse the Congress of killing Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology during the 1984 riots.
Leader of Congress in LS , Mallikarjun Kharge demanded an unconditional apology, threatening to block proceedings till they get one. At the Speaker’s prodding, Sakshi Maharaj withdrew his remarks and apologised.