Editor's note: This piece has been updated to include Pragya Singh Thakur's removal from the consultative committee of the defence ministry, a day after she made the controversial comments in Parliament.
Following scathing criticism from the Opposition, BJP axed Pragya Singh Thakur from the 21-member consultative committee of the defence ministry a day after the Bhopal MP made comments referring to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a "patriot" during a debate in the Lok Sabha.
Thakur's comments on Wednesday, who is also an accused in the Malegaon blast case, created a storm both inside and outside the House.
When DMK member A Raja cited a statement of Godse on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi during a discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, Thakur interrupted and said, "You cannot give the example of a deshbhakt," triggering a protest among Opposition members.
Later, the Congress took strong objection to Thakur's remarks and lashed out at the "deplorable hate politics" of the BJP.
"Repeatedly referring to Nathuram Godse as a "deshbhakt" is a perfect representation of BJP's deplorable hate politics," the party said.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala condemned Thakur's comments and used the opportunity to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India celebrates 150th yr of Gandhi Jayanti,
Terror accused BJP MP, Pragya Thakur celebrates Godse as ‘martyr’ on the floor of Parliament.
Inaction against Pragya proves your latent support to Godse’s sinister thought!
India won’t pardon you!https://t.co/Lplstgj6Ip
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) November 27, 2019
AAP's Kumar Vishwas, also made a reference to Modi without naming him.
मैं इन्हें फिर से माफ़ नहीं कर पाऊँगा 😂🙏 https://t.co/88WOIbACIm
— Dr Kumar Vishvas (@DrKumarVishwas) November 27, 2019
While campaigning for the 2019 general elections, the 2008 Malegaon blast accused had called Godse a "true patriot" at a roadshow in Madhya Pradesh. Reacting to her comments, Modi had said "The remarks made about Gandhiji or Nathuram Godse are very bad and very wrong for society. She has sought an apology but I will never be able to forgive her fully." CPI general secretary D Raja on Wednesday said that Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah should clarify if they endorse Pragya Thakur's remarks. "This has been her stated position. The prime minister had said he will never forgive and forget when she had said this on an earlier occasion. Amit Shah said that there will be disciplinary action. But she keeps this position on the issue. The prime minister should answer, Shah should answer. Do they and the BJP endorse this view too?," PTI reported him as saying. Congress' Abhishek Singhvi slammed the BJP. "These are the ideologies that have felt most empowered since BJP has come into power. It's shocking and shameful that she is a parliamentarian," he said on Twitter.
This motormouth shall ensure the downfall of the BJP. Whatever the case might be, this is an extremely dangerous sign and has made a complete mockery of the Indian democracy and it's founding fathers. https://t.co/qC2w2iKq8l — Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 27, 2019
In a series of tweets, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath asked the BJP to clarify its stand on the issue and urged the BJP to take strict action against her.
यदि वो गांधी जी के साथ है तो गांधी जी के हत्यारे को महिमा मंडित करने वालों पर कड़ी से कड़ी कार्यवाही अविलंब भाजपा को करना चाहिये।
— Office Of Kamal Nath (@OfficeOfKNath) November 27, 2019
Meanwhile, the BJP tried to deny that Thakur had made such comments. Speaking to reporters, Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said "She did not take the name of Godse or anyone else. There is nothing on record like that. She raised the objection when Udham Singh's name was taken."
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on reports of BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur referring to Nathuram Godse as 'deshbhakt' in Lok Sabha: She did not take the name of Godse or anyone else. There is nothing on record like that. It is not right to simply spread news like that. https://t.co/76RBC7ufqf
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2019
However, A Raja later confirmed that Thakur had called Godse a nationalist and said that her remarks were condemnable.
A Raja, DMK on reports of BJP's Pragya Thakur referring to Nathuram Godse as 'deshbhakt' in Lok Sabha: When I said Nathuram Godse who committed a brutal act of killing Gandhi, Sadhvi Pragya stood & said that he was a nationalist. It is condemnable. pic.twitter.com/377dAjPVgd
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2019
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2019 15:48:46 IST