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RSS distances itself from Pragya Singh Thakur over remark describing Godse as 'patriot', calls for her expulsion from BJP

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi openly slammed BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur for her ‘Godse deshbhakt’ comment and the party cracked the whip on two other leaders who also made controversial statements on Mahatma Gandhi's killer, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) clarified that it has no connection with Pragya.

 RSS distances itself from Pragya Singh Thakur over remark describing Godse as patriot, calls for her expulsion from BJP

File photo of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. PTI

“BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur has nothing to do with the Sangh. She has never been a member or swayamsevak of the RSS,” Rajiv Tuli, prant prachar pramukh of RSS Delhi, told Firstpost. The RSS also thinks that Pragya, who is contesting against Digvijaya Singh, the Congress candidate and two-term former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, should be ‘expelled from the party as a disciplinary action’.

Pragya was reacting to actor Kamal Haasan’s remark that Nathuram Godse was a terrorist. “He was, he is and he will remain a true patriot,” she said on Thursday during a rally in Madhya Pradesh. Her remark created a firestorm on social media and allowed Opposition parties a cudgel with which to beat the BJP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reacting sharply to the comment of the Malegaon blast accused, said at Khargone in Madhya Pradesh on Friday that he would 'never forgive' Pragya for insulting Mahatma Gandhi. Modi, during his rally at Khargone Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh, which will go to polls on 19 May,  told a TV channel that such comments were detrimental to society. “Though she has apologised, I won’t be able to pardon her,” said Modi.

The Sangh is apparently perturbed by the fact that Pragya has been linked by the Opposition parties with the RSS, which is the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.

“When Pragya is already a sadhvi, how could she anyway be associated with any organisation, especially the RSS? As she is a BJP member, the party should take stringent action against her. In fact, the BJP should expel her from the party as such members bring bad name to a party or organisation,” another senior RSS functionary told Firstpost on condition of anonymity.

Pragya was made a BJP member and given a ticket to contest from the high-profile Bhopal constituency. The RSS has always maintained that Godse, at the time of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, was not a part of the Sangh. Godse joined the RSS in Sangli, Maharashtra in 1932 and he was simultaneously a member of Hindu Mahasabha: both right-wing organisations.

But over a period of time, he fell out with the second sarsanghchalak of the Sangh, MS Golwalkar (also known as Guruji) and founded his own organisation ‘Hindu Rashtra Dal’ in 1942. He left both the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha over his differences in opinion with the organisation leaders over the Partition.

“Nathuram Godse joined the RSS and then left,” the RSS functionary added. “It’s a well-known fact when he had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, he was no way associated with the Sangh. If people still consider him as an RSS man, despite his leaving the organisation, then Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who was a tall Congress leader and espoused the cause of Muslims, should be considered as a ‘Congress leader’ even after he left the party and formed Muslim League. In this light, Jinnah should be seen as a Congress leader who was instrumental in the creation of Pakistan and killings of over 10 lakh people during the Partition,” the RSS functionary added.

Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah, condemning the remarks made by three of the party’s leaders — Pragya, Anantkumar Hegde and Karnataka MP Nalin Kumar Kateel — on Godse, said such remarks were 'not in line' with the party ideology.  “Party’s disciplinary committee has sought an explanation from them in 10 days,” said Shah in his tweet.

Madhya Pradesh BJP president Rakesh Singh suspended the primary membership of the party’s media cell head Anil Saumitra for his remark claiming that “Mahatma Gandhi is the Father of Pakistan”. In a Facebook post, the Bhopal-based Saumitra, originally from the RSS, wrote, “Pakistan was born with the blessings of Bapu, therefore Mahatma Gandhi can be the father of Pakistan, but not of India. In Bharat crores were born like him — some worthy and some worthless. ” In another post, he wrote, “No scholar can prove me wrong. I will not delete my post.”

Saumitra was lauded by his friends and followers on social media. The BJP, taking strong exception to his post, has sought a clarification from him within seven days.

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Updated Date: May 17, 2019 21:40:09 IST