BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj sparks row by calling Nathuram Godse a 'patriot', retracts

New Delhi: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj was on Thursday at the centre of a controversy after describing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "patriot", sparking outrage following which he retracted.

The MP from Unnao said, "Godse was an aggrieved person. He may have done something by mistake but was no an anti-national. He was a patriot."

When his remarks triggered a controversy with demands for action, he retracted saying, "I do not consider him a rashtra bhakta (patriot). I might have said something by mistake."

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj
BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Hussain Dalwai strongly condemned the alleged efforts to "glorify" Godse and demanded arrest of those involved in such exercise.

"A person who has created an example of non-violence in the world and whom we call 'Father of the Nation' was killed by Nathuram Godse," Dalwai said outside Parliament. 

"Now some people are observing Nathuram Godse Shourya Diwas on November 15. It is absolutely wrong and government should arrest them. Why is the government silent on the issue?" he asked.

"Gandhi is accepted by people from all walks of lives including workers, peasants, dalit and women. I have written a letter to the state Chief Minister demanding action against these people," he said.

Cong uproar in RS over eulogising Gandhi's killer

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha today witnessed uproarious scenes with members from Congress lodging strong protest against eulogising of Nathuram Godse at a function held in Maharashtra earlier this month.

Under attack from the opposition members, Government disapproved of any such event hailing Mahatma Gandhi's killer but said no organisation should be defamed.

The Upper House saw two brief adjournments over the issue as Congress members protested holding placards in the aisles and raising slogans, while charging right-wing organisations with lending their support to it.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Husain Dalwai (Cong) said he has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister over hosting the event attended by some religious leaders and former MLAs.

"Mahatma Gandhi's killer is being eulogised by hosting his 'Shaurya Diwas' in Maharashtra...These people talk of development, but are trying to create a rift in society," he said, accusing the right-wing organisations of indulging in
such things, including religious conversions that created tension in society.

Congress members created uproar over the issue and raised slogans while displaying placards of the event, even as Deputy Chairman P J Kurien tried to pacify the agitating members, asking them to take their seats and maintain peace. 

"Don't make use of Zero Hour for this kind of display. This is gross indiscipline...To decide the culpability or otherwise, the courts are there, not me or you," Kurien said.

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