CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday lambasted the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over party's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur's remark that Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a "patriot".
Sitaram Yechury said, "The truth about where RSS-BJP stands on terror gets clearer all the time. A senior minister in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's Cabinet said Godse was not a terrorist, now terror-accused Pragya Thakur calls the murderer of Gandhi ji a 'desh bhakt'. The BJP remains inspired by the killers of the Mahatma."
Right from Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, PDP president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to CPI leader D Raja, all slammed the BJP and Pragya Singh Thakur.
In a tweet, Priyanka Gandhi said, "Bapu ka hatyara deshbhakt? Hey Ram! Distancing yourself from your candidate is not enough. Nationalistic luminaries of the BJP, have the guts to spell out your stand."
On the other hand, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. Speaking to reporters, he said, "Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah ji and BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh should apologise to the country. I condemn the words used against the Father of the Nation. Nathuram Godse was a killer and eulogising him is not patriotism, but an anti-national act."
Earlier today, Thakur had said, Nathuram Godse was a desh bhakt, he is and will remain one. Those calling him a terrorist should introspect. They will be given a befitting reply in this election." It is to be noted that she was responding to a question over actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan's remarks that free India's first terrorist was a Hindu.
After facing backlash from both the opposition as well as her party, Pragya Thakur retracted her remarks and said, "I believe in my organisation, I work for it, and the party's line is my line."