Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu (File Pic)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu (File Pic)

Disgusting to hear those who killed Mahatma Gandhi being hailed as 'great patriots': Naidu

ANI | Updated: May 16, 2019 23:07 IST

Amravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], May 16 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday hit out at BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal Sadhvi Singh Pragya Thakur and said it was depressing and disgusting to hear that those who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi were being hailed as "great patriots" by BJP candidates.
"It is depressing and disgusting to hear that those who killed the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi are being hailed as great patriots by BJP candidates," Naidu wrote on his Twitter handle.
This comes in response to Thakur's remarks hailing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a 'true patriot'.
Earlier in the day, when questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's remark that India's first terrorist was a Hindu (in reference to Godse), Thakur said, "Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt', is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'."
Taking on BJP for supporting Thakur's candidature from Bhopal, Naidu said, "This speaks a lot about the nature of patriotism of not only BJP candidates but also Narendra Modi, who supports such people."
He also cornered BJP for fielding terror-accused candidates like Thakur who abused martyred police officer Hemant Karkare.
"First, they abused Maharashtra Police officer Sri Hemant Karkare who was martyred, now it's the turn of the father of the nation, an apostle of non-violence and the torchbearer of world peace, Mahatma Gandhi. Is this the Gujarat model that BJP wants to spread in the entire nation?" he asked.
The Opposition parties also attacked Thakur saying her comments reflected the mindset of the people nurtured in RSS ideology.
As Thakur's comments caused a huge embarrassment to BJP, the party which has strongly backed her candidature in Bhopal, tried to control the damage caused by her.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said the party condemned Thakur's statement and urged her to apologize publicly for terming Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Godse a "true patriot".
"We completely disagree with the statement made by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur about the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi ji. We strongly condemn this particular statement. The party will ask her for clarification. She should apologize publicly for this statement," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told media here.
Following this, Sadhvi tendered an apology late evening saying her comments were personal and would follow the party line.
"What Gandhi ji did for this country cannot be forgotten. I respect him a lot. My statement was misinterpreted and misrepresented by the media. I am a disciplined worker of the party and party's line is my line," she told ANI.
Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, is not new to courting controversies.
After being fielded by BJP from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, she had that Karkare, who was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, died because she had cursed him.
The statement had attracted all-round criticism from opposition parties and the BJP, which distanced itself from the controversial remark. (ANI)