Controversial lawmaker Pragya Thakur apologises again
NEW DELHI : BJP Controversial MP Pragya Thakur took a second shot at an apology in the Lok Sabha over her remarks praising Nathuram Godse, this time reading out from one agreed to by all parties. Thakur’s first apology in the Lok Sabha was a conditional one in which she said that she too was called a ‘terrorist’ by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi though “there is no evidence against me”.
As the half-hearted apology triggered an uproar in opposition benches, the Speaker adjourned the house and called for a meeting with the floor leaders of all parties. “If anyone is hurt due to any of my statements, I apologise. But my point was misrepresented and misquoted. I was called a terrorist. There is no evidence against me,” she had said in her first reply in the Lok Sabha after Wednesday’s shocker.
As Congress MPs rose to their feet demanding a proper apology, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey demanded that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi must apologise as well for calling Thakur, accused in the Malegaon blasts case, a ‘terrorist’. Dubey went on to insist that calling Thakur a terrorist “is worse than Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination”.
BJP MP Pragya Thakur’s remark glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse did not just rile the opposition parties, but also several BJP MPs, who feel that such comments were hurting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image.
The Congress and other UPA constituents had given a notice to move a censure motion in the Lok Sabha over the controversy. Signatures of MPs from the Congress, DMK, NCP, RJD and IUML were on the motion which was presented to House Speaker Om Birla.
According to sources, the Congress is also upset over Thakur calling it a “terrorist party”, and has demanded an apology for the “unwarranted remarks”, which, they allege, have lowered the dignity of the House.
Thakur created a controversy on Wednesday with her remark in the Lower House of Parliament during DMK member A Raja’s narration of a statement by Nathuram Godse before a court on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi. However, after the opposition members’ protest, the Lok Sabha speaker said only the DMK leader’s speech during the discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill will go on record.
“We are very clear about it that we condemn her statement and we do not support this ideology,” BJP working president J P Nadda said. This is not the first time that Thakur has courted controversy because of her comments on Godse. 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.
Many even secretly goaded the opposition parties to bring a censure motion to condemn Pragya Thakur for her statement in the Lok Sabha. The Speaker, however, is unlikely to admit the petition on grounds that her remarks have been expunged from the record. During the proceedings on Thursday, the Opposition had walked out of the Lok Sabha after Speaker Om Birla said there would be no debate on the issue since the remarks have already been struck off the record.