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Anantkumar Hegde retracts pro-Nathuram Godse tweet, says account was hacked; Amit Shah refers matter to disciplinary committee

The political drama revolving around Nathuram Godse took a fresh turn on Friday after Union minister Anantkumar Hegde first posted a few tweets sympathising with Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, but later disowned the posts claiming that his Twitter account was "hacked".

The flip flop started shortly after two tweets sympathetic towards Godse were retweeted by his account with additional commentary.

 Anantkumar Hegde retracts pro-Nathuram Godse tweet, says account was hacked; Amit Shah refers matter to disciplinary committee

Screenshot of pro-Godse tweet put out from Anantkumar Hegde's account.

However, an hour later he held that "certain tweets" on his account were posted by hackers and have been "discarded and deleted". The Union Minister also regretted the tweets 'wrongly' attributed to him. Hegde also said that there was no question of justifying Mahatma Gandhi's killing.

"My Twitter account has been breached twice in the past one week and certain tweets have been posted on my timeline which have been discarded and deleted. Regret the posts attributed to me."
"My account was hacked since yesterday. There is no question of justifying Gandhi ji's murder. There can be no sympathy or justification of Gandhi ji's murder. We all have full respect for Gandhi ji's contribution to the nation," he posted.

The debate around Nathuram Godse was first stoked by Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan, who referred to him as "Independent India's first Hindu terrorist" on Monday. The controversy compounded after BJP leaders Pragya Thakur opposed the comment stating that Godse was a "deshbhakt" and anybody calling him a terrorist will get a reply in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP condemned her statement and asked her to tender a public apology. She said she made the comments on the spur of moment to a question linked to "saffron terror" and claimed that the media twisted them.

Apart from Hegde, another BJP MP from Karnataka, Nalin Kumar Kateel also courted controversy by comparing Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who has been a chief target of the ruling party in the national election campaign nearly 30 years after his assassination. "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??" Katee had tweeted.

Meanwhile, amid spiralling criticism, BJP national president Amit Shah has taken a firm view against the stray remarks. Besides asking the leaders to apologise for their remark, Shah has also sent the matter to the party's internal disciplinary committee.

"Statements of Anantkumar Hegde, Pragya Thakur and Nalin Kateel are their personal opinion. The BJP has nothing to do with it. They have withdrawn their statements and apologised. BJP has taken their statements seriously and sent these statements to the disciplinary committee," Shah told ANI.

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Updated Date: May 17, 2019 13:22:45 IST