EC demands 'factual report' from Pragya over 'Godse a patriot' remark

The poll panel sought a reply from her by Friday

INDIA-ELECTION/ Pragya Singh Thakur | Reuters

The Election Commission on Thursday took cognisance of BJP's Bhopal candidate and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur's remarks describing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a "patriot".

The poll body has sought a "factual report" from chief electoral officer of Madhya Pradesh by Friday on her statement, official sources said in New Delhi.

Thakur later apologised for it and withdrew the statement.

Talking to a news channel in Agar Malwa in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday afternoon, Thakur said, "Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt' (patriot), he is and will remain a 'deshbhakt'. Those calling him a terrorist should instead look at themselves. They will be given a befitting reply in this election."

She said this in response to a question over actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan's remark that "free India's first extremist was a Hindu", a reference to Godse.

Earlier this month, the EC had barred Thakur from campaigning for three days for violating the Model Code of Conduct by stirring up communal feelings.

The poll watchdog had said in its order that the decision came in light of her comments against slain IPS officer Hemant Karkare and on the demolition of the Babri Masjid.