Press Trust of india

MP CEO submits report to EC on Pragya’s remark on Godse

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Bhopal, May 17 :  The Madhya Pradesh chief electoral officer has submitted a report to the Election Commission over BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur calling Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse a “patriot”.

Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast, had made the comment during a roadshow in the state on Thursday and later, apologised saying that she respected the Father of the Nation.

“We have forwarded the report to the EC (Election Commission) in this regard,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V L Kantha Rao said Friday.

When asked about the details of the report, he said, “We will share it once the EC takes a decision on this.”

The CEO had earlier directed the Agar Malwa district election officer to file a report on Thakur’s statement she made on Thursday.

“Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), he is and will remain a deshbhakt. Those calling him a terrorist should instead look at themselves. They will be given a befitting reply in this election,” the controversial leader had said in Agar Malwa while attending a roadshow.

She was replying to a question over actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that independent India’s first “extremist was a Hindu”, a reference to Godse.

Her remarks created a major row with the Congress demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP immediately got into damage control and distanced itself from her statement, and asked her to tender a public apology.

The Malegaon blast accused tendered an apology on Thursday night and said she respected Mahatma Gandhi as his work for the country cannot be forgotten.

“My sentiment was not to hurt anyone’s feelings. If it has hurt anybody’s feelings then I apologise. What Gandhiji has done for the country cannot be forgotten. I respect him a lot,” she said in a video statement.

Thakur said she made the comments on the spur of moment to a question linked to “saffron terror” and claimed that the media twisted them.

This is the second time in a month that Thakur has apologised for a controversial statement made by her.

Last month, Thakur had stoked a controversy when she said that IPS officer Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as she had “cursed” him for torturing her. Later, she apologised and took back the remark.

Out on bail, Thakur (48) has been discharged by a court on charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the 2008 case, but is still facing trial under other criminal provisions, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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