Man who worshipped Godse joins Cong; ‘now Gandhian’, says party
The induction into the Congress of a former municipal corporator who built a temple dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse has stirred a political controversy in Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress on Thursday inducted Babulal Chaurasiya into the party in the presence of former chief minister Kamal Nath.
Hitting out at the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and state home minister Narottam Mishra said: “This has revealed the double standards of the Congress party. Congress party leaders use the name of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi for votes only like they use the name of BR Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel during elections only.”
Defending the party’s decision, Congress’s Gwalior MLA Praveen Pathak said: “Chaurasiya was an active member of the Congress. He decided to return to the party...we welcomed him because our party leaders are like Rahul Gandhi, who has even forgiven the murderers of his father to give them a chance...”
Chaurasia himself admitted that he had been associated with the Congress in the past.
“Now, the truth has come out that it was a Congressman who hatched the conspiracy to malign the image of the BJP-led state government [by glorifying Godse],” BJP leader Rajneesh Agrawal said.
In 2017, Chaurasiya, who contested the 2015 Gwalior Municipal Corporation election as an independent candidate, built a temple dedicated to Godse. He was with the Hindu Mahasabha at the time. Indeed, as recently as 2020, he appeared in events supporting Godse.
Following his induction into the Congress, Chaurasiya said he had been misguided by the Hindu Mahasabha. “The leaders of Hindu Mahasabha showed some fake books to me about Godse. But recently, I realized my mistake and left the organization,” he said .
The Hindu Mahasabha contested this and said Chaurasiya was expelled three days ago.
“How was it possible to misguide a person for six years? He was associated with the Hindu Mahasabha for the past six years. We have videos of his speeches in which he was seen praising Godse. Recently, we came to know that Chaurasiya used to take money from a local Congress MLA for sending people from his ward to Congress party political rallies. We removed him from the organisation three days ago after serving a show-cause notice to him,” Hindu Mahasabha national vice president Jaiveer Bhardwaj said.
Chaurasiya’s induction appeared to create a divide in the Congress state unit as well.
Senior party leader Manak Agrawal said: “It is wrong to welcome an admirer of Godse in the party. I don’t know the reason why he has been allowed to join the party but we will surely oppose this decision.”
Former state Congress chief Arun Yadav tweeted saying he was ashamed of the induction. “Bapu hum sharminda hai…Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahe (Bapu, we are ashamed…Mahatma Gandhi Long Live),” he tweeted.
A political analyst from Gwalior, Jayant Singh, said: “Congress is trying to regain lost political ground in Chambal and Gwalior division. They are looking for Independent leaders, who have the support of common people, for local bodies’ election. Chaurasiya contested the election independently in 2015 and won with a good margin. He is very popular in his ward. To win, the party leaders are ready to ignore the fact that he was a part of an organisation which hates Gandhi and Congressmen.”