Ex-MP Cong chief objects to entry of Godse worshiper into party
A day after the Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit admitted a Nathuram Godse admirer into its fold, former Union minister Arun Yadav wrote an open letter on Friday to protest against the move, saying he “can’t sit silently” watching the entry into the party of a man he described as a murderer of Gandhian ideology.
The Congress on Thursday inducted former Gwalior corporator Babulal Chaurasiya, who once built a temple dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, into the party in the presence of former chief minister Kamal Nath. “Many big politicians say Nathuram Godse was the first terrorist of India, but why are they silent over the induction of an admirer of Godse in the Congress party,” Yadav, a former president of the Congress’s Madhya Pradesh chapter, asked in the open letter to the party.
He cited the example of Bhopal’s Pragya Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Bhopal MP, who in the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign described Godse as a patriot, a remark for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wouldn’t ever forgive her. Yadav posed the rhetorical question: If Thakur joins the Congress in the future, would the party accept her, too?
In the open letter, Yadav attacked his party leaders and questioned them about the Congress’s ideology. “Being a true soldier of the Gandhian ideology of Congress, I can’t sit silently. My struggle is not against any person, but it is dedicated to the ideology of Congress. I am ready to suffer any political damage for that.” Yadav noted that during his tenure as CM, Kamal Nath had an FIR registered against Chaurasiya and others for distributing pamphlets containing a statement by Godse and derogatory references to Mahatma Gandhi.
Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) leaders said Yadav had expressed a personal opinion and defended Chaurasiya as a follower of Gandhian ideology who had been misguided by the Hindu Mahasabha about Godse.
MPCC spokesperson Ajay Singh Yadav said Babulal Chaurasiya had only returned to a party to which he belonged before 2015. “He clearly said he was misguided by Hindu Mahasabha and he believes in Gandhian ideology and had nothing to do with Godse and RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh],” he added.
The BJP took swipe at the Congress, saying the episode had exposed an internal feud among party leaders. Medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said: “The Congress is facing existential crises. Its leaders are fighting with each other for posts. Now, Yadav made it clear that the party leaders are confused about the party’s ideology too.”