Bhopal Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Monday said that anyone who harmed the country was a criminal, referring to former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, NDTV reported. Thakur’s comments followed a week after former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that Nehru had committed a crime by “announcing ceasefire in war with Pakistan”.

“Whoever will hurt our motherland, anyone who tries to break our India, surely is a criminal,” Thakur was quoted as saying. She also said that those opposing the Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir were not patriotic.

“Those who are happy with the removal of Sections 370 and 35A are proud of our country, those who are proud of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are patriots,” the BJP leader said.

The ruling Congress party in the state criticised Thakur’s remarks on Twitter. “One who has spent days in jail in the Malegaon blast and Sunil Joshi murder cases, one who is out on bail, one who has described Nathuram Godse as patriot and made fun of the martyrdom of Hemant Karkare, is calling Nehru, who went to jail for freedom, a criminal. Who is a criminal?,” Congress’ state unit spokesperson Narendra Saluja tweeted.

On August 12, Chouhan claimed that the introduction of Article 370 in the Constitution “was a crime”. “It led to terrorism while Sheikh Abdullah’s family prospered,” ANI quoted Chouhan as saying. “The people of Kashmir remained poor. [Jawaharlal] Nehru committed the crime of announcing ceasefire in war with Pakistan, at the time when Indian forces were driving out the Pakistani infiltrators from Jammu and Kashmir. Due to this, one-third of the portion [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir] remained with Pakistan.”