BJP has suspended Anil Saumitra, the BJP media cell head for Madhya Pradesh, for calling Mahatma Gandhi as the “father of Pakistan” in a social media post on Thursday.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that he would never be able to forgive BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur for hailing Mahatma Gandhi killer Nathuram Godse as a patriot. Modi made the remark while speaking to a TV channel on the last day of campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Pragya Thakur, who had called Godse a patriot on Thursday, retracted and claimed that her comment had been twisted by the media.
In a qualified apology, she said:" I am a disciplined worker and if I have hurt anyone, I am sorry". Following Modi's strong reaction, the party sent show-cause notices to BJP MPs from Karnataka Nalin Kateel and Ananthkumar Hegde, as also to Pragya Singh Thakur.
Party president Amit Shah said statements by these leaders were against the party's dignity and values”.
Nalin Kateel said Godse killed one man, Kasab 22 while Rajiv Gandhi 17,000, an apparent reference to anti-Sikh riots. He did not explain where from he got the figure. In any case, he deleted the tweet.
Hegde said he was glad that the controversy over Godse had reopened a debate on the assassination of Gandhi. He also retracted after the damage had been done.