The BJP initiated disciplinary action against its Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur and others for laudatory comments on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse amid nationwide condemnation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own declaration that he “would never forgive” Ms. Thakur, but drew a line at expressing regret at offering her a party ticket.
The disciplinary action came on a day when Mr. Modi in an interview to News24 TV channel said that he “would never forgive” Ms. Thakur for her comments. “These kinds of statements made about Gandhiji are condemnable and cannot be allowed in a civilised society. She may have apologised, but I shall never forgive her (Ms. Thakur),” he said.
Addressing a presser at the end of campaigning for the final phase of polling for the Lok Sabha election, however, BJP president Amit Shah said that he separated the reasons why the party had given Ms. Thakur a ticket from Bhopal and her remarks on Godse. “I don’t regret the decision of offering her a ticket from Bhopal because it is our satyagraha against a fake case filed by the Congress for vote bank politics and attempts to defame Hindu religion and civilisation for petty political gains,” he said.
When Mr. Modi was asked a question at the same presser on whether he would welcome Ms. Thakur to Parliament if she won on May 23, he redirected the question to Mr. Shah who said that the party was awaiting her response to the show cause notice and action would be taken.
Ms. Thakur, Union Minister Ananth Hegde, and MP Nalin Kateel have been sent show cause notices by the disciplinary committee of the party, and BJP’s Madhya Pradesh media cell chief Anil Saumitra has been suspended from the primary membership of the party for terming the Mahatma as the “father of Pakistan.”
Mr. Hegde, who is also a Minister at the Centre, blamed hacking for his tweets lauding Nathuram Godse. He said that this had happened earlier too to his twitter account.