Digvijay Singh said the Election Commission has clearly said that no political comments should be made on Army and martyrs.
New Delhi/Bhopal: Two days after Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s name was announced as the BJP’s candidate to take on Congress stalwart Digvijay Singh from Bhopal parliamentary seat, the saffron party leadership was left embarassed over her controversial remarks against 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks martyr and ATS chief Hemant Karkare. Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal, Ms Thakur said it was her curse to Karkare for treating her “very badly” while she was in custody in 2008 Malegaon blast case that got the then Mumbai ATS chief killed.
Feeling the heat over her remarks, the BJP quickly disassociated itself from Ms Thakur’s comments, which were seen contradictory to the party’s nationalism plank.
“The BJP believes that Karkare died while bravely fighting terrorists. The BJP has always considered him a martyr,” the party said in a damage-control exercise.
The comment is her “personal view”, it added.
The Opposition demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over her remarks and claimed her remarks came from the “script” provided by the BJP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Hemant Karkare gave his life protecting India. He must be treated with respect.”
The Congress and NCP sought an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over her remark while her opponent, Mr Digvijay Singh said the Election Commission has clearly said that no political comments should be made on Army and martyrs. “Hemant Karkare ji was an honest and committed officer who attained martyrdom for the people of Mumbai in a terror attack,” said Mr Singh.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the remark was an insult to every soldier who has sacrificed his life for the country while fighting terrorism.
Terming Ms Thakur a “terrorist”, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the BJP’s decision to give her a ticket underscored its “pretence” of fighting terrorism.
“Modi ji, only BJP leaders can commit the crime of declaring 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare a traitor..This is an insult to every Indian soldier who has sacrificed his life for Mother India while fighting terrorism. Apologise to the country and take action against Pragya,” he tweeted.
Distancing itself from her remarks, the BJP issued a statement saying:”The BJP believes that Karkare died while bravely fighting terrorists. The BJP has always considered him a martyr” and said Ms Thakur’s comment was her “personal view.”
Terming Ms Thakur a “terrorist”, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the BJP’s decision to give her a ticket underscored its “pretence” of fighting terrorism. He alleged that the remarks came from the “script” provided by the BJP. Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil said both the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena should be “ashamed” of her statement. Mr Patil said while the PM was seeking votes in the name of (Pulwama terror attack) martyrs, his party’s candidate “is celebrating Karkare’s death”.
“The BJP and Shiv Sena, particularly Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray should be ashamed of this,” he said.
Slamming Ms Thakur over her remarks, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted:
“Is she sane? Sadhvi Pragya has dragged patriotism to a new low by attacking decorated dead IPS officer #HemantKarkare who sacrificed himself to fight terrorism and here’s an official @BJP4India candidate insulting his memory! It’s an insult to our men in uniform and to every Indian.”