BHOPAL: Almost two weeks after the 2008 Malegaon blast accused-turned-BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat Pragya Singh Thakur courted controversy for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot,” another saffron clad lawmaker of the same party in Madhya Pradesh has termed Godse a “nationalist.”
Usha Thakur, the BJP MLA from Mhow seat of Indore district termed Godse a nationalist, who cared for the nation all throughout his life. “Godse ek rashtrawadi the, unhone jeevanbhar desh ki chinta ki, us samay kya kaal paristhiti rahi hogi jo unhone aisa nirnay liya, ye toh vahi jaante honge (Godse was a nationalist, who was concerned about the nation throughout his life. The circumstances under which he decided to assassinate Gandhiji were known to him only),” said Thakur while talking to journalists in Indore on Wednesday.
Caught unawares on the embarrassing development, state BJP’s chief spokesperson Deepak Vijayvargiya said, “We don’t have information about such a statement by Thakur, and we’ll gather information on it.”
The Congress was prompt to attack the BJP on the development, as state Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “This development has proved beyond doubt that the BJP is a party which has Lord Ram in words, but Nathuram in deeds and heart. The seriousness with which BJP takes these statements has also been exposed as the party is yet to act against Pragya Thakur or Anant Hegde and Nalin Kateel, two of its politicians from Karnataka for their objectionable remarks or tweets on Godse, even 12 days after serving them notices,” said Chaturvedi.
On May 16, three days before the last phase of voting in the 2019 LS polls, then BJP candidate from Bhopal (and now newly elected LS member) Pragya Singh Thakur had described Nathuram Godse as a patriot. She, however, took a u-turn on her remarks a few hours later, saying she apologized for her remarks. She had also undergone into a 63-hours silent period (maun vrat) over it, after PM Narendra Modi made it clear in a TV interview that he will never forgive Thakur for her remarks.
As for Mhow (Indore) MLA Usha Thakur, controversy has often plagued her over her off the cuff remarks. In September 2014, she had reportedly demanded a ban on entry of Muslim youths in Navratri Garba pandals.
The same month, Usha Thakur was again in news, this time for reportedly advising the Muslims to either sacrifice their sons or give up the practice of slaughtering innocent animals on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.
In October 2018, Thakur (then the BJP MLA from Indore III seat) made a controversial remark on the Me Too movement, reportedly stating that some women compromise on their values and ideologies for personal gains and promotions.