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Bhopal/New Delhi, May 16: Bowing under pressure from party, Sadhvi Pragya finally apologised for calling Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse a "Deshbhakt". But not before drama and theatrics.
Sadhvi said she was sorry for hurting sentiments of people and like others she too has lot of respect for Father of the Nation.
Earlier, Sadhvi had refused to apologise or say sorry for calling Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse a "Deshbhakt". Despite BJP asking her to issue an apology, the BJP candidate from Bhopal had just said " I follow party line".
"Apne sangathan BJP mein nishtha rakhti hun, uski karyakarta hun aur party ki line meri line hai ( I believe in my organisation. I am worker of BJP and follow party line)," Sadhvi Pragya said while clarifying on her statement.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has sought report in the matter from Chief Electoral Officer, Madhya Pradesh by Friday"
Earlier, tearing into BJP, Congress General Secretary has asked the saffron party whether it has guts to throw out Sadhvi Pragya from the party for calling killer of Father of the Nation "Deshbhakt". In a strongly worded tweet, Priyanka said " Bapu ka hatyara deshbhakt. Hey Ram? ( Killer of Bapu Deshbhakt? Hey Ram)
"Distancing yourself from your candidate is not enough. Nationalistic luminaries of the BJP, have the guts to spell out your stand, " tweeted Priyanka.
BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur on Thursday kicked up a major row by describing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "deshbhakt" (patriot), a comment which her party immediately condemned and asked her to apologise for her remark.
The comment by Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, provided fodder to the Opposition Congress to target the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt', is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within. Such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections," Pragya told reporters in Bhopal.
She was commenting on the recent remarks of actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) President Kamal Haasan who called Godse the first Hindu terrorist of Independent India. "The first terrorist post-Independence was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu. It started from there. He killed Mahatma Gandhi," Haasan had said.
Unhappy over Thakur's controversial comment, the BJP immediately condemned it.
"We completely disagree with the statement she has made with regard to Mahatma Gandhi and we strongly condemn it. The BJP will ask her why she made such a statement. It would be proper for her to tender a public apology for this objectionable statement," BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narsimha Rao told reporters at the party headquarters in Delhi.
News24 Bureau/ Agencies