Ahead of MP civic polls, Congress inducts 'Godse follower'
Babulal Chaurasia, infamous for lending support to Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse, has been inducted into the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the upcoming civic polls. He joined the party on Thursday in the presence of state party chief and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath. The move has invited mixed reactions from within the Congress and rival parties. Here are more details.
'I have been a Congressman since birth'
According to The Indian Express, Chaurasia said, "Mein janamjaad Congressi hoon (I have been a Congressman since birth). I have joined my first family." He had earlier quit the Congress after being denied a ticket by the party for the municipal elections in 2014, post which he joined the Hindu Mahasabha. The Congress also tweeted a picture of Chaurasia joining the party on Thursday.
'I am back to my old family'
About his devotion to Godse in the past, Chaurasia has said, "It never felt right in the heart and I often thought of not doing it and quitting to join the Congress." "I have completed my tenure but in the first few years of joining the Mahasabha, a bitterness had developed in my heart, so I quit and went back to my old family."
Nothing drastic about it, says Kamal Nath
Meanwhile, Kamal Nath said, "If Mr. Modi wants to join our party, he can join. If someone wants to reform and realization dawns on them that they have been on the wrong side and now want to join Congress, they can come (sic)."
The Gandhis are so large-hearted, says Congress leader
Supporting the move, Congress leader and an MLA from Gwalior, Praveen Pathak said, "Earlier, Chaurasia was in Congress but he fought the elections and got elected as a corporator from Hindu Mahasabha." "Our party leader (Rahul Gandhi) has forgiven the killers of his father. They (Gandhis) are so large-hearted, it's because of their values that a person worshipping Godse started worshipping Gandhi ji."
The decision didn't sit well with all Congress members
However, the move did not sit well with all within the grand old party. "Bapu, we are ashamed. Long live Mahatma Gandhi," tweeted its leader Arun Yadav. Separately, the rival Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power in the state, has called out the decision.
Chaurasia and his history involving Godse
Chaurasia had made headlines in 2019 when he declared he would forward Godse's last court statement to one lakh people. He has often been spotted in events dedicated to Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. He was also allegedly present at a 2017 event where a group offered prayers before Godse's statue. He also participated in the setting-up of a temple for Godse.