BJP’s Member of Parliament, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, known for making controversial remarks, has kicked up another row by addressing Mahatma Gandhi as "son of the nation" instead of the "Father of the Nation".
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme on behalf of the Railways on Sunday, 20 October, the Bhopal MP called Mahatma Gandhi rashtraputra (son of the nation) like many other icons of ancient and medieval India.
The ruling Congress slammed Thakur for her remarks on Mahatma Gandhi, who is revered as the Father of the Nation, and said the description shows her disrespect for the legendary independence movement leader.
She said: “Gandhi ji Rashtraputra hai, Gandhi ji is Dhara Ke Putra Hai, Ram Is Dhara Ke Putra Hai, Maharana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj Is Dhara Ke Putra Hai, Desh Ke liye Jisne Sarahniya Karya Kiya Hai, Nishchit Roop Se Wo Hamare Liye Aadarniya Hai, Ham Unke Kadmo Par Chalte Hai. (Gandhi ji is son of the nation. Gandhi ji is son of this land. Lord Ram, Maharana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj are sons of this land. Those who did commendable work for the country are respectable for us, we follow their path)."
The first-time MP was asked why she missed the BJPs `Gandhi Sankalp Yatra' organised to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
In May this year, the Hindutva activist had called Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a "patriot".
As the statement created an uproar and left the BJP red-faced, Thakur, a key accused in the Malegaon blast case, apologised and quickly withdrew the remark.
The state Congress lost no time in lambasting Thakur and the BJP for her remarks on the Father of the Nation, terming them as insulting.
“This shows BJP’s hypocrisy. On the one hand, they are holding processions claiming to show their respect for Mahatma Gandhi and on the other, their MP is showing disrespect for this great leader, who is admired across the world”, said state Congress spokesman, Pankaj Chaturvedi.
Chaturvedi said, “The country loves Mahatma Gandhi and addresses him as the Father of the Nation with respect and he should be addressed like that.”
Thakur had also made controversial remarks about 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare.
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