Bihar CM Nitish Kumar speaking to reporters in Patna on Sunday.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar speaking to reporters in Patna on Sunday.

Nitish Kumar condemns Pragya Thakur's pro-Godse remark

ANI | Updated: May 19, 2019 18:50 IST

Patna (Bihar) [India], May 19 (ANI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday condemned the statement of BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur that Nathuram Godse was a "patriot", asserting that his party JD(U), an ally of BJP, will not tolerate such remarks in support of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin.
"It is condemnable, we don't agree with such views. Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation. Suspending her from the party is their own matter. Giving a reaction or taking action is an internal matter of their party. As much as we are concerned, we will not tolerate this kind of view," he told reporters after casting his vote.
Reacting to Kumar's statement, former Bihar Chief Minister and RJP leader Rabri Devi said if he is miffed over Thakur's remark, then he should have separated from BJP and resigned from his post.
"Nitish Kumar should have resigned if he is troubled by Pragya Thakur's comment. He should have separated from BJP over this comment," she told ANI.
Talking to reporters, Kumar demanded that elections should be held in two or three phases instead of such a long period this time, and said he will be working toward creating a consensus among political parties on the issue.
"Based on my experience, I believe that an all-party meeting should take place on the issue of poll duration. It is not right to have a long campaign period in this hot weather. In our country, polls should be held in February-March or October-November and they should not be in so many phases," he said.
"Elections should happen in fewer phases as far as possible. This will also help people. There is no need of conducting elections in so many phases. Ideally, elections should be carried out in one phase but the country is big so there may be two-three phases," the Chief Minister said.
Kumar said he has fought this election on the basis of his work and hoped that the NDA will the government again under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Article 370 of the Constitution giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir and common civil code, the JD(U) chief said, "Under no circumstances, we will support of the removal of Article 370. We will not accept a common civil code. We believe that the Ayodhya issue should be sorted out either in court or through mutual discussion."
On May 16, Thakur, facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, had stoked controversy and left BJP red-faced with her comment that Godse was a 'true patriot'. She had apologised for her statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he will never forgive Thakur for insulting Mahatma Gandhi. BJP president Amit Shah had asserted that the party will take appropriate action against her and two other leaders -- Anant Kumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel -- over their pro-Godse comments. Hegde and Kateel had retracted their Twitter posts.
Thakur is not new to courting controversies. After being fielded by BJP from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, she had said Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, died because she had cursed him. Karkare, as the chief of the Mumbai anti-terror squad, had led the investigation into the Malegaon case.
The remark had attracted all-round criticism including from BJP which disowned it. She had taken back her comment and apologised for it. (ANI)

iocl