This Article is From Dec 11, 2014

BJP Lawmaker Calls Gandhi Assassin Nathuram Godse A 'Patriot', Then Retracts

BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj said Nathuram Godse is a nationalist. However, he later retracted.

New Delhi: The government has sought to distance itself from a new controversy, after a Congress lawmaker alleged in Parliament today that Mahatma's Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse was honoured at a function in Maharashtra and a BJP lawmaker said outside Parliament that Godse was a "patriot."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu emphasised in the Rajya Sabha that, "There is no question of honouring such people. There is no question of the government doing it."

He also said, "We should leave the matter there, but defaming an organisation is not acceptable."

Husain Dalwai of the Congress raised the issue in the Upper House saying, "Mahatma Gandhi's killer is being eulogised by hosting a 'Shaurya Diwas' in Maharashtra." He claimed that he had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP complaining about the alleged event, but got no response.

Congress members protested loudly about news report that such a function was held in Maharashtra, and alleged that it was organised among others, by the Bajrang Dal, an organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, the BJP's ideological mentor.   

Outside Parliament BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj said, "Nathuram Godse was a patriot just as Mahatma Gandhi was." However, he later retracted, "If I said something wrong, I take it back. I don't consider him a patriot."

Mr Naidu spoke on the matter after the Congress' Anand Sharma said, "It is not acceptable that some one eulogises him. I hope neither the House nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister will approve of such an action. Let the House speak in one voice and condemn it."

Nathuram Godse a right-wing activist had shot the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi thrice in the chest at point blank range on January 30, 1948. He was hanged in November 1949.