NEWS
17/05/2019 3:58 PM IST

Sorry PM Modi, Dissing Pragya Thakur Now Is Pointless

If Thakur wins from Bhopal, the BJP can claim the dubious honour of having been the first party to send a terror-accused to Parliament.

AP/Getty

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would not forgive the BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur, who had called Nathuram Godse a “patriot”.

Modi told News24 he “will never be able to forgive Sadhvi Pragya for insulting Bapu”.

Thakur’s remarks, which were in reaction to Kamal Haasan calling Gandhi’s killer independent India’s first extremist, had led to much controversy, forcing her to initially make one of her routine, half-hearted “apologies” along the lines of ‘if you felt hurt, I apologise’.

She had made a similar apology after public outrage over her claim that her curse killed former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare. In both cases, she made unconditional apologies later.

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Thakur’s comments, which don’t stray far from the right wing’s position on Godse and Hindu terror, are reprehensible, but pale in comparison to the fact the BJP chose her as a Lok Sabha candidate even while she is still an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast which killed eight people.

If she wins from the saffron bastion of Bhopal, India’s current ruling party can claim the dubious honour of being the first political party to sen a terror-accused to Parliament.

It’s not like Modi and his right-hand man Amit Shah were unaware of the damage they were doing by choosing Thakur—the prime minister himself, at one of his rallies, had thundered that her candidature was a reply to those who had defamed the Hindu civilisation.

Thakur’s comments are reprehensible, but pale in comparison to the fact the BJP chose her as a Lok Sabha candidate even while she is still an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast which killed eight people.

Modi’s response came hours after BJP president Shah also came out against Thakur’s remarks, saying the BJP had taken serious note of the statements, which was against its ideology. He also asked the party’s disciplinary committee to submit a report on the issue in 10 days—after the counting of votes, by when presumably the issue would have died down—for further action.

And even as Modi and Shah have condemned Thakur, other BJP leaders have happily been welcoming the “debate” on Godse—which one would think had been settled in 1948 itself. 

Union minister Anantkumar Hegde initially tweeted, “Am glad that 7 decades later today’s generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. #NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with this debate!”

He later deleted the tweet and claimed his account was hacked. 

BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel compared Godse with Rajiv Gandhi and also deleted his tweet.

The BJP’s Madhya Pradesh media cell head was suspended for calling Gandhi the “father of Pakistan”.  

So what, really, is Modi planning to do about Thakur?