Amid reports of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse being eulogised at a function held in Maharashtra earlier this month, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj on Thursday said Godse was a patriot.
However, Sakshi Maharaj backtracked from his earlier remark that Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a nationalist, saying he does not see the latter as a patriot.
“If I have said anything by mistake, I withdraw my statement. Godse was not a nationalist,” said Sakshi Maharaj.
“If anybody wants to worship Godse, I cannot stop him. It is the work of the Central Government and the state government to stop it. But I do not see Godse as a nationalist,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha on Thursday 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, Hussain Dalwai (Congress) 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.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “This is not acceptable. Mahatma Gandhi’s killer, whosoever it may be, we are against it. We do not accept any honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s killers.”
As members continued their protest and the House witnessed acrimonious exchanges between both sides, Kurien adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes just before noon.
But, similar scenes were witnessed when the House met at noon, forcing the Chair to adjourn it again for 15 minutes.
When the House reassembled, Anand Sharma (Cong) said, “It is not acceptable that some one eulogises him. I hope neither the House nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister will approve of such an action. Let the House speak in one voice and condemn it.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said, “There is no question of eulogising such a person. We should leave the matter there, but defaming an organisation is not acceptable.” It was after this that normal proceedings resumed.