Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh): Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shedding crocodile tears over Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s statement that Nathuram Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi, was a “patriot.”

“Prime Minister Modi is the one who had made Thakur the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal. The Prime Minister’s crocodile tears will not work. He must take away her candidature and voting right. Every person who talks against Mahatma Gandhi should be deprived of his voting right,” said Singh while speaking to media persons here. After the opposition parties questioned the Prime Minister’s silence on Thakur’s remarks on Godse, Modi said that he would never forgive Sadhvi Pragya for insulting Bapu by calling Nathuram Godse a patriot.

“The statements given about Gandhi Ji or Godse are very bad and wrong for the society. She has (Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur) apologised but I will never forgive her,” Prime Minister Modi had said in an interview with the news channel — News24. Digvijaya said that he would blame the ideology which has developed hatred for Mahatma Gandhi in the hearts of the people.  “Not only Sadhvi, but I will also blame the ideology which develops hatred for Mahatma Gandhi. Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi with such hatred. Just like Pragya, Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi have similar sentiments for Gandhi,” said he.

Digvijaya also cornered BJP spokesperson Anil Saumitra for calling Bapu ‘Father of Pakistan.’ “Gandhi’s principles teach us about love, non-violence, and peace while Godse’s ideology promotes hatred and violence. Union Minister of State Anant Kumar Hegde is supporting such statements,” he said, asking if the BJP would suspend Hegde and Thakur from the party.

“Nathuram Godse was a ‘Deshbhakt’ (patriot); is a ‘Deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘Deshbhakt,” Thakur had said while commenting on actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, referring to Godse. Soon after her remarks, which stirred controversy, the opposition parties mounted an attack on Thakur saying that what she said reflected the mindset of the people nurtured by the ideology of RSS.

Digvijaya, who has faced Thakur in Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, had also sought apology from PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, and the state BJP leadership for Thakur’s statement about Godse. “Modi Ji, Amit Shah Ji, and the state BJP should give their statements and apologise to the nation. I condemn this statement. Nathuram Godse was a killer. Glorifying him is not patriotism. It is sedition,” Singh had said.

Later, Thakur apologised for her statement. “If someone has been hurt, then I apologise. 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 said, while talking to ANI. It is worth mentioning that earlier Pragya had also faced the people’s wrath for her comments on Hemant Karkare, chief of Mumbai Police’s ATS, stating that he died as she had cursed him. Karkare had arrested Pragya along with others in Malegaon blasts in Maharashtra in September 2006 in which six people were killed and 100 others were injured. Karkare was martyred while fighting terrorists in Mumbai terror attack.   Madhya Pradesh’s remaining eight Lok Sabha seats will go to polls on May 19, the last phase of seven-phased parliamentary elections. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.