New Delhi, Jun 9 (IANS): The Congress on Friday demanded expulsion of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat from the Bharatiya Janata Party for praising Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a 'patriot', saying it is an insult to 'Bapu' and demanded his sacking from the saffron party.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi, Congress leader Vaibhav Walia, who is also the party's Secretary Communications, referred to the recent remarks by Rawat where he had repeatedly said that Godse was a patriot.
Walia said it was not only an insult to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, but the entire nation itself.
He added that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues praising Mahatma Gandhi, his party leaders like Rawat and another MP Pragya Thakur were glorifying his killer.
The Congress leader said that if the BJP did not take any action against the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister, it would be obvious that he had spoken for the BJP.
"If you (Modi) don't remove him from the party then it means what he has said has tacit support from you," Walia added.
The Congress leader said, highlighting the remarks of former party chief Rahul Gandhi during his recent visit to the US, said, "It was in the same context that Rahul Gandhi was repeatedly saying that there was a continuous fight between two ideologies in the country."
"One ideology of hatred preached by the BJP and another of love preached by the Congress," he said, referring to the remarks of the former Wayanad MP.
Walia also said that the remarks of leaders like Rawat, Thakur, Anant Hegde proved Rahul Gandhi's point, adding that while one ideology talked about and preached hatred and violence, the other one taught about love and harmony.
His remarks came after Rawat on Wednesday while speaking to media in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia said, "Gandhiji was killed. That is a different issue. But as far as I have understood and read Godse, he too was a patriot. We do not agree with the killing of Gandhiji."
Rawat also termed Godse a 'patriot' while mocking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for sharing his surname with the father of the nation.