Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a swipe at the BJP over its leaders making controversial remarks on Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, saying the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are not "God-ke Lovers" but "God-se Lovers".
The row erupted on Thursday with the BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur praising Godse as a "patriot" before saying she respected Gandhi and his work for the country cannot be forgotten after a sharp rebuke from the party.
I finally got it. The BJP and the RSS...— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 17, 2019
Are not God-Ke Lovers.
They are God-Se Lovers.
As the controversy over Pragya 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 more cruel in this??" Mr Kateel tweeted on Thursday, equating Godse, 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab and Rajiv Gandhi, father of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde also found himself in the news with a tweet justifying Godse's action. However, later the minister claimed his account was hacked.
Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condemned the statements, saying, "Any comments and or statements made on Gandhi or Godse are absolutely wrong. Such language and thoughts should be condemned and are unacceptable in a civilised society."
"People with such beliefs must think one hundred times before saying such things," he said in an interview to News24 television channel.
"She apologised publicly for the comments, but I won't forgive her at a personal level," PM Modi added.
Mahatma Gandhi was shot three times in January 1948 by Godse, a member of the Hindu Mahasbha angered by what he considered Gandhi's pandering to Muslims and by India's partition after independence in 1947.
While he has been called "Independent India's first terrorist" by the opposition, many leaders and public figures linked to the BJP and right-wing organisations linked to it have often made statements supporting him.
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