An Indian Administrative Service officer from Mumbai has deleted a tweet in which she thanked Nathuram Godse for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, but said it was written in sarcasm, PTI reported on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Nationalist Congress Party demanded the suspension of Nidhi Choudhari, a deputy municipal commissioner in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. “She glorified Godse by posting a derogatory tweet about Gandhiji. This shouldn’t be tolerated,” party leader Jitendra Awhad said, according to PTI.

On May 17, Choudhari had tweeted: “What an exceptional celebration of 150th birth anniversary year is going on. High time we remove his face from our currency, his statues from across the world, rename institutions/roads named after him! That would be a real tribute from all of us! ThankU#Godse for 30.01.1948 [the date of Gandhi’s assassination].”

Photo credit: News18 screenshot
Photo credit: News18 screenshot

However, Choudhari later deleted the tweet, and claimed that some people had misunderstood it. She tweeted on May 31: “If only they had followed my timeline since 2011 they would’ve understood that I would NEVER even dream of insulting GandhiJi. I bow before him with deepest regard & will do till last breath.”

Choudhari continued to claim her innocence in a series of tweets on Saturday.

“Here are a few glimpses of my earlier tweets of past few months,” she tweeted. “Kindly read and understand how I feel for GandhiJi. I am a devout follower of GandhiJi and would NEVER insult him. The tweet which has been misinterpreted was a sarcasm and not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments.”

Choudhari had posted her original tweet a day after Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pragya Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, called Godse a patriot. “Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt [patriot], he is and will remain a deshbhakt,” she said during an election meeting. “Those calling him a terrorist should instead look within. They will be given a befitting reply in this election.” She later “regretted” her remark.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had later said in an interview that he would never forgive Thakur for her remarks. Thakur won the Bhopal seat in the Lok Sabha elections.

On May 29, Usha Thakur, a BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh, claimed that Godse was a nationalist. “Godse was a nationalist who was concerned about the nation all his life,” Usha Thakur, who is also the vice president of the BJP’s Madhya Pradesh unit, said. “I believe that [he was] a person who was concerned about the nation throughout his life. What the circumstances were due to which he took this decision [to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi], only he would know. I think you or I should not even comment on it.”