Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Friday asserted that the remarks by three party leaders on Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, was personal, adding that the statements have no connection with the party's stand on the matter. He, however, also said that keeping in view the dignity and ideology of the BJP, the party has seriously considered the matter. Three BJP leaders--Anantkumar Hegde, Pragya Singh Thakur, and Nalin Kumar Kateel-- since Thursday have courted raging controversy over their statements sympathising and praising Godse.
Taking to Twitter, Shah said that the leaders have tendered their apologies for the statements, but the party has decided to send these statements to the disciplinary committee. The BJP chief further asserted that the disciplinary committee should seek a reply from the three leaders and give a report within 10 days to the party.
"Vigat do deeno mein Anantkumar Hegde, Sadhvi Prachi and Nalin Kateel ke jo bayan aaye hai woh unke niji bayan hai, un bayanon ka BJP ka koi sambandh nahi hai. In logon ne aapne bayan wapas liye hai aur maafi bhi maangi hai. Phir bhi sarwajanik jiwan tatha BJP ki garima aur vichardhara ke viparith in bayanon ko party ne gambhirta se lekar teeno banayon ko anushasan samiti ko bhejne ka nirnaye kiya hai. Anushasan samiti teeno netaayon se jawab maangkar uski ek report 10 din ke andar party ko de, is tarah ki suchna di gayi hai. (In the past two days, the statements of Anantkumar Hegde, Sadhvi Prachi and Nalin Katil are personal and there is no connection of their statements with the party. These people have retracted their statements and have apologised too. Yet, keeping in view dignity and ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and since they are a part of public life the party is seriously considering the matter and has decided to send these statements to the disciplinary committee. The disciplinary committee should seek a reply from the three leaders and give a report within 10 days to the party)."
BJP Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur on Thursday waded into controversy after she hailed Godse as a patriotic (deshbhakt). Pragya was responding to Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan's remarks on Godse, which stirred controversy. "Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt, is a deshbhakt and will remain a deshbhakt'. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within. Such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections," she said. However, she apologised later.
Kateel, an MP from Karnataka, on Thursday, compared Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is crueller in this??" - Kateel tweeted.
In the latest development, Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde on Friday followed their footsteps in sympathising with Godse on Twitter. Taking to Twitter, he said that he is glad that after 70 years today's generation debates in a changed perceptional environment. He added that this gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. Hegde also claimed that Godse would have finally felt happy with this debate. Hegde said that his account was hacked and deleted the pro-Godse tweets.