The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday distanced itself from the controversial statements made by three of its leaders on Mahatma Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse.

Statements of Anantkumar Hegde, Pragya Thakur and Nalin Kateel are their personal opinion. BJP has nothing to do with it, BJP president Amit Shah said in a statement issued after opposition outrage over the remarks.

He said the three leaders have withdrawn their statements and apologised.

Amit Shah further informed that BJP has taken their statements seriously and sent the remarks to the disciplinary committee.

The committee will seek explanations from all the three leaders and will submit the report to the party within 10 days.

Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde on Friday jumped into an ongoing controversy on Nathuram Godse saying after seven decades he would be happy with the debate.

“Am glad that 7 decades later today’s generation debates in a changed perceptional environment and gives good scope for the condemned to be heard upon. #NathuramGodse would have finally felt happy with this debate!” Hegde tweeted.

He, however, deleted the tweet soon after and claimed that his Twitter account has been breached twice in the past week.

“My Twitter account has been breached twice in the past one week and certain tweets have been posted on my timeline which has been discarded and deleted. Regret the posts attributed to me,” Hegde tweeted.

Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, 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.

Reacting on Thakur’s statement, Hegde had tweeted, “Time to assert and move away from being apologetic! If not now … When?”

Following this, a debate erupted on the social media platform.

Meanwhile, Nalin Kateel, a BJP MP from Karnataka on Thursday made a shocking statement by comparing Nathuram Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this (sic.)??” tweeted Nalin Kateel.

Rajiv Gandhi’s name was taken in a single breath along with the terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

The tweet was later deleted.