Lok Sabha Elections 2019: ‘Karkare a martyr, Sadhvi Pragya’s remark personal, from experience’: BJP
In its statement on Pragya Thakur’s remarks on Hemant Karkare, the BJP distanced itself saying that whatever she is saying is from her personal experience and that the party could not comment on it.Updated: Apr 19, 2019 18:26 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday rushed to cap the massive controversy that erupted over the statement of its Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur that she had cursed former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare a month before he died in 2008.
“BJP considers him a martyr,” the party said in a statement seen as a response to a barrage of criticism from the opposition that accused the BJP candidate of belittling the senior officer’s supreme sacrifice.
The Indian Police Service Association had also condemned Pragya Thakur’s “insulting statement” and demanded that “sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected”.
Also watch: ‘ATS chief Hemant Karkare died after I cursed him’: Sadhvi Pragya sparks row
Thakur, while addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Thursday, accused Karkare of torturing her and said: “He tortured me... I said may you perish, his inauspicious time started from that moment and he was killed by terrorists in a month.”
“This is Sadhvi Pragya’s personal statement which she might have given because of the mental and physical torture she had faced,” the BJP’s central office said in its statement. The party’s state spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal had earlier declined comment, underlining that “what she is saying is from her personal experience”.
Also read: I am not a terrorist, says Sadhvi Pragya
“Her comment is a violation of Election Commission’s order of not making any political statements on the Army and martyrs. Hemant Karkareji was an honest and committed officer who attained martyrdom to save the life of people in 26/11 Mumbai Terror attacks.”
The state chief electoral officer VL Kantha Rao said: “Congress lodged a complaint against BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for her comments on former ATS chief Hemant Karkare. We are inquiring into the matter.”
While addressing the party workers in Bhopal late on Thursday Thakur said: “The probe committee called Karkare and said ‘let her go, if you don’t have any evidence against her. It is wrong and illegal to detain her’but Karkare said ‘I would do anything, will make or get the evidence but I won’t leave her.’”
The BJP candidate said the officer used to ask her “how and why it (Malegaon blasts) happened and I used to reply that only God knows. Karkare would then ask me sarcastically whether he needed to go to God’s place to know the truth. I told him that if required, you will have to go. He hurled abuses on me, harassed me, insulted me a lot.”