Shantaram Naik, Congress Rajya Sabha MP and Secretary, AICC, has said that the attempt being made by Hindu Mahasabha and other forces to erect a ‘temple’ for Nathuram Godse in Sultapur, Uttar Pradesh, is no less than an offence of sedition under Indian Penal Code.
In a statement issued on Friday, Mr. Naik said Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself should come out openly, and that too, without wasting any time, against the move.
“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, whom the country worships, as Mahatma, is a symbol of secularism, unity and integrity and the person who assassinated Gandhi cannot be a God. Building a temple in the name of such a person, cannot be without any ulterior motive,” said Mr. Naik.
He suggested that to start with, the UP Government should make a proposal to the Central Government to declare institution or institutions involved directly or indirectly in the construction of temple as unlawful, and that, the same be banned under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act,1967.
Further, Mr. Naik said in his statement that the Central Government should itself call for a report from the State Government in this regard, if Mr. Modi is sincere about his new found love for Gandhi.
Mr. Naik said that some people in the country have been misguided to believe that Nathuram Godse was a patriot but, Mr. Naik said, while he does not propose to discuss the credentials of Godse, nation cannot forget that Godse’s act was an act of terrorism which shook the country. No patriot could kill Mahatma Gandhi and still be called a patriot, said Mr. Naik.
He alleged that for many years BJP, or earlier Jan Sangh, refused ,even to garland the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi.
Prime Minister Modi would be committing a serious offence against the State, if he prefers to keep his mouth shut on such a sensitive issue, warned Mr. Naik.
Mr. Naik urged that the authority in Sitapur, who is entrusted with powers to grant construction licence should refuse to grant licence for such a construction and, if any authority, has already granted one, should declare it as illegal and order the same be razed to ground.