NEW DELHI: BJP minister Lal Singh Arya has categorically denied calling Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, a “Mahapurush”.
“I have never ever made such a statement,” said Lal, member of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's cabinet.
Controversy erupted after reports of Arya calling Godse a ‘Mahapurush’ (great man) emerged on on Tuesday.
The minister reportedly made the statement after the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Sabha installed a bust of Godse at their "office-cum-temple" in Gwalior.
The Gwalior district authorities later seized the statue. “The idol of Godse, installed inside the Hindu Mahasabha office, was seized today. Investigation is on,” Additional District Magistrate Shivraj Singh Verma told IANS.
Godse, convicted of killing Gandhi, was hanged to death on November 15, 1949.
The right-wing organisation had installed the 32-inch tall bust at its Daulatganj office in Gwalior on November 15 – the day Godse was hanged at the Ambala Jail 68 years ago, and consecrated it with rituals.
The Hindu Sabha also observes November 15 as Balidan Diwas (sacrifice day).
With agency inputs