BHOPAL: A Hindu Mahasabha ex-municipal corporator, who had 15 months back reportedly pledged to forward the last court statement of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse to one lakh people, was welcomed into the Madhya Pradesh Congress by its chief Kamal Nath on Wednesday.
Nath was accompanied by his party MLA from Gwalior South seat Praveen Pathak to welcome Babulal Chaurasia in the grand old party's fold at state Congress HQ in Bhopal on Wednesday.
The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister had attacked the BJP government in the state over starting a library dedicated to Godse at Hindu Mahasabha's office in Gwalior.
The official Twitter handle of MP Congress on Wednesday afternoon shared the photo of Chaurasia with Kamal Nath.
Confirming the development, "I have been associated with the Congress in the past, so it is like returning to the family," he said. When asked about his active participation in events that glorify Nathuram Godse, Chaurasia played down the matter. "I didn't know at that time what it was all about. I was pushed to the forefront of such events," he claimed, further stating that he had snapped ties with the right-wing outfit for the last two years.
Contrary to Chaurasia's claims, there have been news reports and pictures of him present at almost all such events conducted by the Hindu Mahasabha. Be it the Hutatma Nathuram Godse Temple in 2016 or taking the pledge to forward Godse's last court statement to one lakh people on the 70th anniversary of the assassin's hanging in 2019, Chaurasia can be seen in all these events.
During the 2017 event at the Daulatganj (Gwalior) Hindu Mahasabha office, Chaurasia was among those leaders who had reportedly performed special prayers of Godse's statue.
Chaurasia joining is being seen as Congress' all-out efforts to perform well in the upcoming municipal polls in the Gwalior-Chambal region, three months after the party's dismal show in the assembly by-elections in the same region.
Meanwhile, the All India Hindu Mahasabha national vice-president Jaiveer Bhardwaj said that this shows Congress has made a place for those who espouse the nationalistic ideology of Nathuram Godse. "It also shows Congress is running short of committed workers and is ready to take anybody in its fold." He also claimed that Chaurasia had not snapped ties with Hindu Mahasabha two years back, but had even participated in the program to start Godse Gyanshala (library) last month.
State BJP secretary Rajneesh Agrawal also took a dig at the Congress and MPCC chief Kamal Nath. "A month back Kamal Nath had asked CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan whether he was with Mahatma Gandhi or Nathuram Godse. Now the same questions need to be replied to by Nath himself. Congress is running short of workers, so it's ready to include anyone in its ranks for the politics of vote ahead of urban local body polls," Agrawal said.
However, when contacted in the matter by The New Indian Express, newly appointed MPCC general secretary (media) and a sworn Gandhian, KK Mishra denied commenting on the matter.