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BJP MP Pragya Thakur was removed from the parliamentary panel on defence on Thursday, 28 November, a day after her controversial reference to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a “deshbhakt” (patriot) during a debate in Lok Sabha.
“Pragya Thakur’s statement in Parliament is condemnable. She will be removed from the consultative committee of defence.”JP Nadda, BJP Working President
Reacting to the controversy, Thakur tweeted saying she was misquoted and that she was referring to freedom fighter Udham Singh not Godse.
Journalists on Twitter pointed that they heard the MP make a reference to Godse.
Amid BJP's attempt to distance herself from Thakur's a party MLA Surendra Singh said Nathuram Godse committed a mistake but he was not a terrorist.
“Godse was not a terrorist. Those who are involved in anti-national activities are terrorists,” he told the reporters.
What Did Pragya Say in Parliament
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 example of a deshbhakt.”
Raja said that Godse himself admitted that he had nursed a grudge against Gandhi for 32 years before finally deciding to assassinate him.
Godse, Raja said, killed Gandhi because he believed in a particular philosophy.
While the Opposition members protested the interruption by Thakur, the BJP members persuaded her to sit down. After this, the Speaker said only Raja’s statement will be taken on record.
“Security should be based on threat perception and not because of political reasons,” Raja said, and asked the home minister to revisit the Bill which seeks to withdraw SPG cover from persons other than prime minister. During the day, Lok Sabha passed a bill to amend the SPG Act.
Later, during the course of discussion on the Bill, Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress, referring to Thakur, said that the MP should apologise for the remark.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that Thakur has explained to the party that she did not support Godse and was only speaking about revolutionary Udham Singh.
‘Will PM Modi Condemn Her Remarks?’ Asks Congress
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said that Thakur’s remarks is the “heart of” RSS and BJP.
“What she is saying, that is the heart of the RSS and BJP, what can I say? It cannot be hidden. I don't need to waste my time demanding action against that woman,” said Gandhi, outside the Parliament.
Congress also reacted sharply to Thakur’s remark, saying that it is a perfect representation of the ruling party's “deplorable hate politics.”
During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Thakur had described Godse as a patriot, triggering a huge political storm. Later, she had apologised for her statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, later, during the campaign, had said, “The remarks made about Gandhi ji or Nathuram Godse are very bad and very wrong for society.... She has sought an apology, but I would never be able to forgive her fully.”
During the Lok Sabha session, Thakur also made references to Warren Anderson, the chairperson and CEO of Union Carbide Corporation during the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, and criticised the Congress party for “protecting a terrorist.”
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)