Bhopal: The BJP on Friday suspended party spokesperson from Madhya Pradesh Anil Soumitra from its primary membership for calling Mahatma Gandhi the “father of the nation of Pakistan”.
In a Facebook post earlier in the day, Soumitra wrote: Mahatma Gandhi was the father of the nation, but of Pakistan. India has had crores of sons like him, some worthy, some unworthy.”
Quizzed about the post, Soumitra told reporters: “Nobody known or unknown has the honour of being the father of India. So Mahatma Gandhi could be the father of the nation, but of Pakistan. Everyone is proud to be the son of the Indian motherland.”
Soumitra’s remark came a day after BJP candidate from Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya told reporters during a road show in Agar-Malwa: “Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot and will remain a patriot. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within. Such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections.”
She later apologised for her “personal remarks”. “I respect Mahatma Gandhi, his contribution to the country cannot be forgotten. If my statement has hurt anyone, I apologise for it. My intention was not to hurt anyone, I was misquoted,” she said.