Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister Uma Bharati are among the top ruling party leaders seen with Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Shakun Pandey, who enacted Mahatma Gandhi assassination and garlanded his killer Nathuram Godse. The alleged links of the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and Union Minister with Pandey emerged in a Facebook picture she had shared on March 19, 2017. The pictures have now been removed from her Facebook page.
On Thursday, when the nation observed Mahatma Gandhi’s 71st death anniversary, Pandey, national secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, enacted his assassination by Godse – who was a member of her organisation. During the enactment of Gandhi’s assassination, Pandey shot at Gandhi’s effigy and garlanded his killer.
The Hindu Mahasabha leader’s actions triggered a storm on social media with users slamming her and demanding police action against her. However, she wasn’t moved by the criticism and told reporters that this would be an annual event "just like the burning of Raavan on Dussehra".
Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Sakun Pandey waving a gun at Mahatma Gandhi's assassination.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered against 13 people, including Pandey for shooting at the effigy of the Father of Nation. The police have arrested one person in connection with the event while others were still at large.
"Today on the occasion of the 71st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, workers of Hindu Mahasabha fired at the effigy of Mahatma Gandhi. The incident took place in a house in Naurangabad locality of the city. Later, the video of the event went viral on social media," said senior police officer Akash Kulhary.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Uma Bharti took to twitter and clarified that she has no link with the with the Hindu Mahasabha leader Pooja Shakun Pandey and the culprits should be brought to book. Uma Bharti further added that she herself is a Gandhian and would always regret that people like Pooja stood by her side.
मैंने आज सुबह जब अखबारों में पढ़ा कि कुछ लोगों ने महात्मा गांधी जी के पुतले का अपमान किया है तो मैं स्वयं ही बहुत क्षुब्ध थी। ऐसे लोगों पर कड़ी कानूनी कार्रवाई होनी चाहिए। यह तो देशद्रोह से भी ज्यादा जघन्य अपराध है। /1— Uma Bharti (@umasribharti) January 31, 2019
Although none of the BJP leaders reacted on their photo with the Hindu Mahasabha leader, Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to Twitter to pay his tributes to the Father of Nation. "Erasing illiteracy, poverty and violence towards making a new and strong India would be the true tribute to the Father of the Nation on his death anniversary," Chouhan wrote on Twitter.