New Delhi, May 17: With two BJP lawmakers fuelling further a raging controversy, BJP President Amit Shah on Friday stepped into do some fire fighting and hinted at disciplinary action after Union Minister Ananthkumar Hegde and another party MP from Karnataka Nalinkumar Kateel backed Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse.
Though both Hegde and Kateel, who are not new to stoking controversies with their statements, claimed to have withdrawn their tweets, Shah said the comments of the two MPs and that of Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur were their personal opinions and the party has nothing to do with it. He has referred them to the party's Disciplinary Action Committee for a report.
Following up on Thakur's remarks on Thursday, Hegde, MP from Uttara Kannada, took to Twitter and wrote, "Am glad that 7 decades later today's generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. #NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with this debate."
However, he later deleted the post and claimed that his account was hacked.
"My Twitter account has been breached twice in the past one week and certain tweets have been posted on my timeline which has been discarded and deleted. Regret the posts attributed to me," he said in a fresh tweet.
In another post, Hedge wrote, "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."
Kateel, MP from Dakshina Kannada, reportedly tweeted, "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this?" Kateel later deleted the post and apologised on the micro-blogging site.
Apparently upset over the three leader's comments, BJP president Amit Shah took to Twitter and said that whatever they said are their personal opinions and not related to the party.
"Statements of Ananthkumar Hegde, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Nalinkumar Kateel are their personal opinions. BJP has nothing to do with it. They have withdrawn their statements and apologized. BJP has taken their statements seriously and sent these statements to disciplinary committee," he said.
"The disciplinary committee will seek explanation from all the three leaders and will submit the report to the party within 10 days," Shah added.
Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal, had on Thursday sparked outrage after she called Godse a "true patriot".
When questioned about actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's remark that India's first terrorist was a Hindu (in reference to Godse), Thakur had said, "Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt', is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'."
A red-faced BJP denounced those remarks and asked her to apologise in public.
Thakur first refused to apologise but complied with the party's directive. "If someone has been hurt then I apologise for it. What Gandhi ji did for this country cannot be forgotten. I respect him a lot. My statement was misinterpreted and twisted by the media," she told ANI on Thursday night.
Amit Shah hints disciplinary action after Nalin Kateel, Anant Hegde defend Godse