Godse remarks: 3 BJP leaders get show cause notices

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks as BJP President Amit Shah looks on during a press conference at the party headquarter in New Delhi, Friday, May 17, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The BJP has issued show cause notices its three leaders, including Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur, over their remarks on Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, party chief Amit Shah said Friday, promising "appropriate action" against them.

The entire BJP regrets the remarks and that is why prompt action has been taken, Shah said at a press conference, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi alongside him.

The party's disciplinary committee has issued a notice to them and has given 10-days time to respond, he said.

"We will immediately decide on appropriate action on them after that," Shah said.

The Pandora's box opened on Thursday with BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate and Malegaon blast accused Thakur lauding Godse as a "patriot" and issuing an apology hours later, saying she respected Gandhi and his work for the country cannot be forgotten.

As the row over Thakur's remarks escalated, BJP's MP from Karnataka Nalin Kumar Kateel compared Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is crueller in this??" Kateel tweeted on Thursday, equating Godse with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab, and Rajiv Gandhi.

Union minister Anantkumar Hegde also found himself in the news with a purported tweet justifying Godse's action. However, later the minister claimed his account was hacked into.

"The BJP does not associate with the comments of the three leaders. We not only consider such remarks as personal but also we have issued notices to those responsible and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against them," Shah said.

He asserted that Thakur's candidature from Bhopal is the party's "Satyagraha" against fake "saffron" terror case.

"The Congress compromised on the country's security for vote bank politics," he said.

"Some people were caught in the Samjhauta Express case, the CBI said these people are associated with the LeT. American agencies also supported this that these people are associated with the LeT. A fake case of saffron terror was made in which all have been acquitted," Shah said.

The courts have said that saffron terror is imaginary, he said.

"So, who is responsible for the people released and given Rs 5 lakh compensation and security compromised for vote bank politics. The Congress party is responsible. I demand that the Congress president apologise for defaming Hindu culture and compromising national security," he said.

Earlier, in a series of tweets, Shah said the remarks made by Thakur, Hegde and Kateel are against the BJP's ideology, and the party has taken serious note of their statements.

Shah also said these comments were their personal statements and had no link with the party.

"They have withdrawn their statements and have also apologised. However, their remarks are against the decorum of public life and the BJP, and also against the party's ideology.

"Taking serious note of their remarks, the party has decided to send them to the disciplinary committee," Shah said.

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