After losing to BJP’s Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Friday said it was a matter of concern that Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology lost to that of his killer Nathuram Godse. His comment was in reference to Pragya Thakur’s pre-poll remark where she had called Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot).
Speaking to reporters, Singh said, “Aaj is desh mein Mahatma Gandhi ke hatyare ki vicahardhara jeet gayi aur desh ka shantidoot ki vichar dhara har gayi (Today in this country, the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer won and the country’s peace messenger’s ideology lost).”
He also said that he believes in democracy and has accepted the verdict. The Congress leader said he refused to get drawn into a controversy over EVM machines but added it was surprising that in 2014 the BJP spoke about winning more than 280 seats and in 2019 more than 300 seats before counting and succeeded. “I don’t know what magic wand it has,” he said.
On May 16, while addressing a roadshow in Agra, Thakur had said, “Nathuram Godseji deshbhakt the, hai, aur rahenge… unko aatankwadi kahne wale log swayam ki gireban me jhaank kar dekhe… chunav mein aise logon ko jawab de diya jayega (Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will remain a patriot… those who call him a terrorist should look within… they will get a reply in this election).”
Thakur was responding to a question on actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remark that “independent India’s first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse”.
Her statement was vehemently criticised among the party lines and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned her for the statement. “The statements that have been made about Gandhiji or Nathuram Godse are very bad and very wrong for society. Although she has sought an apology, I would never be able to forgive her completely,” PM Modi had said.
In the election results released Thursday, Digvijaya Singh lost to Thakur by over 3.6 lakh votes. The Bhopal seat has been a safe bastion for the BJP in the general elections since 1989.