An Indian Administrative Service officer was transferred on Monday for a “sarcastic” tweet in which she thanked Nathuram Godse for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, PTI reported.
Nidhi Choudhari was transferred from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to the water supply department for posting the tweet. The Maharashtra government has issued her a show-cause notice, an unidentified official told the news agency.
“What an exceptional celebration of 150th birth anniversary year is going on,” Choudhari tweeted on May 17. “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].”
The tweet was posted a day after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, called Godse a patriot. Thakur’s remarks caused a massive controversy.
Choudhari later deleted the tweet, and claimed some people had misunderstood it. “If only they had followed my timeline since 2011 they would’ve understood that I would never even dream of insulting Gandhiji,” she tweeted on May 31. “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. She also posted shared screenshots of her earlier posts on Gandhi, and claimed she was his devout follower. The same day, the Nationalist Congress Party demanded the IAS officer’s suspension. “She glorified Godse by posting a derogatory tweet about Gandhiji,” party leader Jitendra Awhad said, according to PTI. “This shouldn’t be tolerated.”
Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar sought exemplary action against her in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday. “If the government doesn’t take action it would be deemed that its policy and intention has reached its lowest ebb,” he wrote, and added: “A government official in a progressive state like Maharashtra making such insulting comments against Mahatma Gandhi, and the state government turning a blind eye to it is a serious matter.”