Won’t be able to forgive Pragya for Gandhi remarks: PM Modi – Times of India

Won’t be able to forgive Pragya for Gandhi remarks: PM Modi – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Looking to send a strong signal that controversial comments on Mahatma Gandhi will not be tolerated, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said on Friday that though party candidate for Bhopal Pragya Thakur has apologised, he would find it difficult to forgive her and others who have spoken out of turn.

“Whatever has been said about Mahatma Gandhi is terribly (bhayankar) wrong. It is despicable. Such language is not acceptable in civil society. Those who do so will have to think 100 times. They have apologised, it is a different matter. But I will not be able to forgive from my heart (Main apne mann se maaf nahin kar paoonga),” Modi told a TV channel.

The Prime Minister’s intervention, intended to contain the backlash against the controversial Sadhvi’s comments that Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a “patriot” and similar comments by BJP MPs Anant Hegde and Nalin Kateel, came after he had addressed a rally in Madhya Pradesh as campaigning for the final 59 Lok Sabha seats ended.

BJP chief Amit Shah also said the comments were unacceptable even as he defended the decision to field Thakur from Bhopal against Congress leader
Digvijaya Singh, saying: “This was our
satyagraha (protest) against the term Hindu terror that had been used by Congress.”

Shah also said on Twitter that “they have withdrawn their statements and also apologised. However, their remarks are against the decorum of public life and BJP and also against the party’s ideology. Taking serious note of their remarks, the party has decided to send them to the disciplinary committee.”

Shah’s comments came at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday evening where the Prime Minister was also present but did not answer media queries.

Thakur, who had attracted controversy earlier for her comments on 26/11 martyr
Hemant Karkare and on her alleged participation in Babri Masjid’s demolition, left the BJP brass squirming after her remarks on the Mahatma on Thursday. She had been repeatedly asked to watch her words even as the party did not hesitate to use her as a campaigner after the Bhopal election closed.

BJP leaders pointed out that the comments running down Gandhi and praising his killer ran completely counter to the emphasis the government has placed on campaigns dedicated to the “Father of the Nation”. Last year, the government had launched two-year-long celebrations to mark his 150th birth anniversary.

On Friday, Thakur was asked to stay away from party events. The Malegaon terror blast accused had reached Burhanpur to participate in a road show for party colleague Nand Kumar Chauhan, pitted against Congress candidate Arun Yadav in Khandwa Lok Sabha constituency. However, the party asked her to avoid public engagements, after which she did not lead the road show.

On Thursday, in response to a question over actor-turned-politician
Kamal Haasan‘s remark that free India’s first extremist was a Hindu, Pragya had said, “Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), he is and will remain a deshbhakt.” Pragya later apologised and retracted the statement.

Shah, however, lashed out at Congress over “Hindutva cases”. “Congress compromised on the country’s security for vote-bank politics,” he said. “Some people were caught in the Samjhauta Express case, the CBI said these people are associated with the LeT. American agencies also supported this. (But) a fake case of
saffron terror was made in which all have been acquitted,” Shah said.

In Video:
Will never forgive Sadhvi Pragya for her statement about Nathuram Godse: PM Modi

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