- Devendra Fadnavis advised Pragya Thakur to be "careful"
- He said Pragya Thakur's comments on Hemant Karkare were "extremely wrong"
- He also said narrative of "Hindu terror" was cooked up by Congress
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said the comments made by BJP candidate from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur, against Mumbai terror attacks hero Hemant Karkare were "extremely wrong" and advised her to be "careful". Pragya Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, had said Hemant Karkare had died because of her curse, a statement that was widely condemned.
"Karkare was a brave police officer. He gave his life fighting for this country. The country considers him a martyr and to make this statement was wrong. She has some issues and she has spoken about that publicly. I would like to advise her that the media is watching her and she should be careful while speaking," the chief minister said in an interview to The Print.
Pragya Singh Thakur had been arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror squad on terror charges and Hemant Karkare headed the ATS at that time. Painful memories of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, in which 166 people died, were revived as Pragya Singh Thakur made a reference to late senior cop Hemant Karkare who died in the line of duty when terror struck the city in 2008. After her comment elicited outrage, she took the comment back.
BJP leaders had defended Pragya Singh Thakur as someone who bore the brunt of having to face a false, politically motivated "Hindu terror" case investigated by Hemant Karkare under the Congress government.
"This is not an election issue. No one should make this an electoral issue. A martyr should not be used for elections", the Chief Minister said when he was asked about whether her comments would hurt the BJP in Mumbai which votes on April 29.
Hemant Karkare fell to bullets fired by two of the ten terrorists who had laid siege to Mumbai on November 26, 2008. Along with him two other officers, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar also died.
Mr Fadnavis also said that the narrative of "Hindu terror" was cooked up by the Congress-NCP regime to appease the minority community.
When asked about why the BJP was seeking votes based on the successes of the armed forces, Mr Fadnavis said the opposition should be large-hearted as the issue was about leadership.
"In 1971 Indira Gandhi was the leader. She did not go on fight on the border. In 1972, the elections were fought on this issue. Our leaders were large hearted and compared her leadership to Goddess Durga. Why can't the opposition of today show the same magnanimity?" Mr Fadnavis said.