Modi takes no questions in press conference, says will return to power

Indian politician calls the man who killed Mahatma Gandhi a ‘patriot’

Indian politician calls the man who killed Mahatma Gandhi a ‘patriot’

"What Gandhiji has done for the country can not be forgotten", she added.

Godse, Gandhi's assassin, was once a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, a strident Hindu nationalist organization that is the parent of the BJP. Of course, on that occasion she did not retract her comment though in its aftermath there were several political memes asking whether government couldn't have got Thakur to curse the terrorists in Balakot instead of the elaborate surgical strike.

Gandhi was slain in 1948 by Godse, a Hindu fanatic angered by what he saw as Gandhi's pandering to Muslims and by the partition of India after independence in 1947.

Simultaneously, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also addressed a press conference at the AICC headquarters in the national capital.

"Remove terror accused Pragya Thakur from your party".

Randeep Surjewala, a spokesman for the opposition Congress party, said in a statement that Thakur's comment "crossed all limits" and called for her withdrawal from the race. "The BJP-led NDA is heading towards a clear majority".

Thakur's run for office has been overshadowed, however, by an ongoing trial over her suspected involvement in a bomb blast near a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra state, in 2008 that killed six people and injured 100. She has denied the charges. But, according to court filings cited by Reuters news agency, the motorcycle on which the explosives were strapped was Thakur's, and she was among those who planned the attack to avenge so-called "jihadi activities".

This week's controversy erupted ahead of Sunday's final round of India's marathon election.

This was expected to be the first time that the Prime Minister interacted with the media in his five-year tenure, however, Modi did not take any questions at the party press conference. The results of the 2019 Lok Sabha election will be declared on May 23.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Solan mocked the Prime Minister for insulting his "guru" LK Advani as well as his cloud cover remark.

Talking to the assembled media, Mr Modi said he was confident the BJP would win the vote, saying: "It has not happened often in our country that a government with full majority returns once again with a majority". "I hope that the new government will start functioning at the earliest".

"This election is unprecedented because it is being fought not for a party but for the country".

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