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Amit Shah ticks off 3 BJP leaders for Godse shocker, says not the party line

Through his tweet, Amit Shah distanced the party from offensive posts that criticise the Mahatma or appear to eugolise Godse.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 17, 2019 13:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Shah, in a series of tweets, said Pragya Thakur, Ananth Kumar Hegde and Nalin Kateel have been asked to give their explanation for their coments within ten days.(PTI FILE)

The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken a serious view of statements by its three leaders on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, party chief Amit Shah tweeted on Friday, firmly distancing the party from offensive posts that criticise the Mahatma or appear to eugolise Godse. The three leaders are also being issued notice by the party’s disciplinary committee and told to send in their explanation within 10 days.

Amit Shah’s unusually prompt and unequivocal statement appears to be designed to send a clear message to party leaders to steer clear of the row over Nathuram Godse first started by the BJP’s Pragya Singh Thakur who insisted that the Mahatma’s assassin was a patriot. The BJP had quickly fielded its spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao to condemn the statement and tell Pragya Thakur to apologise in public.

Pragya Singh Thakur did apologise, blaming the media for what she described as, twisting her comment. “My intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. If I’ve hurt anyone, I do apologise. What Gandhiji has done for the country cannot be forgotten. My statement has been twisted by the media,” she said in a statement late on Thursday evening.

Watch | ‘I respect Mahatma’: BJP’s Pragya apologises after calling Godse a patriot

When two Karnataka leaders put out statements around the Godse remark, a BJP leader suggested there was a view within the party that an unambiguous message be sent to silence the party’s motormouth and not embarrass the BJP.

Also Read | ‘All religions have extremists’: Kamal Haasan after slipper attack, Godse row

In a series of tweets to implement this decision, Amit Shah said: “The comments made by Ananth Kumar Hegde, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Nalin Kateel in the past two days are personal. The Bharatiya Janata Party has no connection with their comments”.

“These people have taken back their comments and apologised for them as well. However, the party has taken their comments seriously and decided to send them to the disciplinary committee, keeping in mind the dignity and ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party,” he also wrote.

Also Read | After backlash on ‘Godse a patriot’ remark, Pragya Thakur apologises to BJP

Hours earlier, according to news agency ANI, Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde had backed Nathuram Godse in a tweet. “Am glad that 7 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,” the tweet said.

The minister later deleted the tweets, claiming that his Twitter account had been breached twice in the past one week and certain tweets have been posted on my timeline which has been discarded and deleted. “Regret the posts attributed to me,” he said in a fresh tweet.

Nalin Kateel, also of Karnataka, on the other hand, waded into the controversy over Pragya Thakur’s comment: “Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??”

First Published: May 17, 2019 12:31 IST

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