Pragya row: Showdown between BJP, Congress workers averted

Bhopal, Dec 4 (PTI) Bhopal Police on Wednesday averted a possible clash between activists of Congress and BJP over Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur's recent remarks on Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse in Parliament.

After Congress MLA from Bhopal Central, Arif Masood, announced a march on the state BJP headquarter located in Arera Colony earlier in the day, at least 100 lathi-wielding workers of the BJP, many of them women, started gathering at the office since morning.

Police, however, stopped the march of Congress workers about half-a-km away from the BJP headquarter to avoid any law and order issue.

Talking to reporters later, Masood said Thakur's apology on the issue is not sufficient.

'We will request state unit BJP president to terminate Thakur's membership. The BJP should clarify whether it is with Godse or Mahatma Gandhi who had uttered Ram after being shot by Godse?' he said.

BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma said the party workers gathered at the headquarter as they had information that 'those who supported banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists may attack the BJP office'.

'I wanted to warn those who supported SIMI terrorists that they should not look towards the BJP office. BJP workers live and die for nationalism. It will have serious consequences if they dare to look at our office,' Sharma said.

He further said the BJP didn't need lessons on nationalism from those 'who ate biryani with the accused in the Batla House case and supported SIMI terrorists'.

Two terrorists were killed and as many arrested after an encounter with Delhi Police in Batla House locality on September 19, 2008.

'This country will never accept the dirty thinking of those who burn daughters,' he said.

The MLA further said BJP workers might visit the office of the Congress on December 6--the anniversary of demolition of Babri masjid in Ayodhya--and offer sweets to workers of that party.

After causing a furore with her remarks on Godse, Thakur was forced to apologise in Parliament twice.

Not new to controversies, Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, had dubbed Godse a 'patriot' during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls held in April-May this year. PTI ADU MAS NSK NSK