Bhopal: Nathuram Godse temple, constructed by Hindu Mahasabha in Gwalior has kicked up a political row. Irked over temple in memory of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, the Congress has demanded that Mahasabha office-bearers be tried for treason. For once, the saffron party has joined its bête noire in condemning Mahasabha’s decision.
The controversy has put the Shivraj government in a piquant situation from which wriggling out will not be an easy task. After the state government rejected the demand for land to construct a temple, the Mahasabha installed a statue of Godse at its office and declared it as a temple. It also organised a function to mark Godse’s death anniversary on Wednesday.
Mahasabha’s national vice-president Jaiveer Bharadwaj said that Mahatma was responsible for India’s partition. “Godse killed him as he wanted Akhand Bharat. He said that his mortal remains should not be immersed in Ganga till Akhand Bharat turned into a reality,” he said and described Gwalior as Godse’s ‘karmabhoomi’ and hence the temple.
When asked to comment on both the BJP and the Congress opposition to the idea, Bharadwaj said that they were only interested in playing politics. “Hindu Mahasabha has no links with any political outfit”, he said. Bharadwaj said that Godse was not traitor and that was why, the then Congress government had tried him only for murder and not treason.
Home minister Bhupendra Singh said that he has sought detailed information on the issue and would be able to comment only after going through it.
Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said that earlier, someone tried to set Bapu’s statue afire in Morena. Now, Godse’s statue has been installed. “The chief minister needs to clarify whether he is with Gandhiji or with Godse,” he said and demanded that a case of treason be registered without any delay against all those involved in the construction of the temple.
BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agarwal said that Gandhiji belongs to the entire nation and not to the Congress alone. He said that appropriate legal action should be taken against the constructors of Godse temple.