In a major declaration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that he will “never be able to forgive” BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot” and thereby insulting Bapu.

In an interview to News 24 TV channel, PM Modi underlined that such statements cannot be tolerated in a civilized society, adding that those who say such things should think 100 times.

“She has apologised. That is a different thing. But in my heart, I cannot forgive her,” said PM Modi.

PM Modi said everything said on Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse are condemnable and gives out a wrong message to the society.

Under fire for her remark that Nathuram Godse is a patriot, BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate Pragya Singh Thakur tendered an apology on Thursday night and said she respected Mahatma Gandhi as his work for the country cannot be forgotten.

She said she made the comments on the spur of moment to a question linked to “saffron terror” and claimed that the media twisted them.

Pragya, an accused in the Malegaon blast case on Thursday, said that Nathuram Godse was a “deshbhakt (patriot)”, is a “deshbhakt (patriot)” and will remain a “deshbhakt (patriot). People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections.”

She was replying to a query on Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief and actor Kamal Haasan’s remark that the “first terrorist in independent India was a Hindu”, referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

However, the BJP said it did not approve of the statement and asked her to apologise, who tendered an apology on Thursday night.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had defended BJP’s decision to field Pragya Thakur in the Lok Sabha elections saying it was a symbolic reply to all those who labelled the Hindu civilisation as “terrorist”.

On April 17, soon after Thakur joined the BJP, the party announced her candidature from Bhopal against veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.