The Committee of Privileges of the Rajya Sabha rejected the ‘conditional apology’ of firebrand right-wing leader Sadhvi Prachi for her comments against MPs who voiced their disapproval over the hanging of Yakub Memon.
The committee has also decided to issue a notice to Union minister for human resource development Smriti Irani for attributing a statement to Left leader Sitaram Yechury, which jeopardised his security.
Refusing to ‘unconditionally apologise’, a defiant Sadhvi Prachi told the committee on Wednesday that she stands by her statement that there are “one or two terrorists in Parliament”.
The committee is now examining action to be taken against the firebrand member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a right-wing outfit. Incidentally, the VHP had distanced itself from her comments and pointed out that since she contested polls on a BJP ticket, she ceases to be a member of the VHP.
According to sources, the committee offered Sadhvi five chances to apologise unconditionally for her statement made in 2015, but she chose to express regret, stating she will apologise only if it lowers the dignity of the House.
“The members have the powers to take further action, which could even be a jail sentence,” a source said.
Addressing the media outside the House, she said, “They tried to pressurise me. I will not back-track from my statement.”
The right-wing leader was summoned after vice-president and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari referred complaints by MPs to the Committee, accusing her of breach of privilege.
“It is a big misfortune that in the Indian Parliament, we have one-two terrorists as MPs,” Prachi had reportedly said in Roorkee on August 6, referring to those who voiced disapproval over Memon’s hanging.
The committee will also issue a notice to Irani to explain her statements made on the floor of the House during a discussion on the alleged suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.