BJP leader calls Gandhi’s assassin a patriot

All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee members and farmers arrive for a rally in New Delhi |PTI

All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee members and farmers arrive for a rally in New Delhi | PTI

New Delhi | For the first time in his five year tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first press conference today at their headquarters in New Delhi.

Party sources said Pragya was reportedly discouraged by senior and local party leaders from holding the roadshow after her controversial remarks that Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse was a "Deshbhakt" or patriot.

The Pandora's box opened on Thursday with BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate and Malegaon blast accused Thakur lauding Godse as a "patriot" and issuing an apology hours later, saying she respected Gandhi and his work for the country can not be forgotten.

With just days remaining in India's mammoth national elections, the political debate has veered into an unlikely and inflammatory topic: the assassination of beloved independence leader Mahatma Gandhi. For loose cannons usually cause the most harm to those who own them. Hegde claimed his Twitter account had been hacked. "We not only consider such remarks as personal but also we have issued notices to those responsible and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against them", Shah said.

He asserted that Thakur's candidature from Bhopal is the party's "satyagraha" against fake "saffron" terror case. "People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a fitting reply in the election", she said.

"So, who is responsible for the people released and given Rs 5 lakh compensation and security compromised for vote bank politics". If it has hurt anybody's feelings then I apologise.

The Congress also managed to attract huge crowds during the road show of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in Indore. He told reporters that he will not take any questions because the press conference is being addressed by Shah, and in BJP's system, discipline has to be followed.

Randeep Surjewala, a spokesman for the opposition Congress party, said in a statement that Thakur's comment "crossed all limits" and called for her withdrawal from the race.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took aim at her rival over the narrative of nationalism and national security that the BJP has tried to make its primary focus in this general election, saying, "The PM talks about Pakistan while speaking on nationalism".

"Taking serious note of their remarks, the party has chose to send them to the disciplinary committee", Mr. Shah said.

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