Disciplinary Panel Rejig: BJP Mum on Pragya Thakur’s Godse Remarks

The committee has been “virtually defunct” for months – will the new members take action against their Bhopal MP?

3 min read
The 10-day deadline regarding explanation on Godse comment ended on 27 May yet there has been no response from BJP.

The BJP has reshuffled its disciplinary committee that is supposed to probe the matter related to Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur calling Godse a “deshbhakt (patriot)”.

Avinash Rai Khanna and Om Pathak have been inducted as the new members of BJP’s disciplinary committee on 4 June 2019, The Print reported.

Khanna has been BJP’s in-charge for the states of J&K, Rajasthan and Goa.

The 10-day deadline regarding an explanation for Pragya Singh Thakur’s ‘Godse comment’ came to an end on 27 May, but there has been pin-drop silence from the BJP on action by the party’s disciplinary committee.

Senior BJP leaders from Madhya Pradesh who were directly involved in Pragya Singh Thakur’s election campaign refused to comment on this matter. There was no response to a message sent to Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, BJP’s national vice-president and Madhya Pradesh in-charge.

BJP’s newly elected MP (Member of Parliament) from Bhopal constituency, Pragya Singh Thakur had sparked a row by claiming that Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot).

Following huge backlash for deifying the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, the BJP had immediately sprung into damage control mode.

On 17 May, BJP president Amit Shah had tweeted about comments by Pragya Singh Thakur, Anantkumar Hegde and Nalin Kateel announcing that they’ve been asked to give an explanation within 10 days.

BJP’s former Lok Sabha MP from Bhopal, Alok Sanjar, told The Quint over the phone, “The matter is now between the party’s central leadership and sadhvi. She has said sorry during the elections.” Sanjar further said that he had no information regarding the issue or the party’s final call on Pragya Singh Thakur.

Another senior BJP leader and former revenue and science & technology minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government, Uma Shankar Gupta said, “I have no information about this issue.”

When asked if there would be a statement from the state leadership on the newly elected MP Pragya Singh Thakur’s ‘Godse comment’, Uma Shankar Gupta said, “My duty was (to campaign) till 23 May. Now further decision will be taken by party’s central leadership.”

To a query on whether BJP benefited from these comments that may have polarised people ahead of third phase of elections, Uma Shankar Gupta said:

“People have rejected the Hindutva espoused by Congress and have accepted BJP’s nationalism.”
Uma Shankar Gupta, former BJP MLA (Madhya Pradesh)

According to the information on BJP’s official website, www.bjp.org, the party’s disciplinary committee comprises of two members.

Under the sub-section of committees, the party’s website lists Satyadev Singh and Bijoya Chakravarty as the members of its disciplinary committee.

When The Quint reached out to Satyadev Singh who’s in Lucknow, he said, “Everything is at the doorstep of Shri Ramlal ji.”

Those aware of the issue within the BJP claim that after one of the members of the standing committee, Prof Ganeshi Lal was appointed as Odisha’s governor in 2018, it has been a “virtually defunct” body. This ‘topless’ body has Satyadev Singh as the sole member without a president at the moment.

When contacted on phone, another disciplinary committee member Bijoya Chakravarty also said, ‘No comment’ and asked this reporter to contact BJP’s national secretary Ramlal.

Responding to the BJP’s silence on the issue of no action by party’s disciplinary committee, Congress media cell in-charge Shobha Oza told The Quint:

“The committee was meant to just fool the people of this country. The very ideology of RSS and its affiliates has been anti-Gandhi. They have always glorified Godse.”
Shobha Oza

When asked if the Congress party would demand suspension of Pragya Singh Thakur who’s now a member of parliament, Shobha Oza said, “The Election Commission should take suo motu decision. Can we have a parliamentarian who abuses Father of the Nation?”

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