‘Am not a terrorist’: Pragya Thakur apologises on Godse row, targets Rahul
Controversial BJP lawmaker Pragya Singh Thakur, whose one-line comment on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, had triggered a huge uproar in Parliament and beyond apologised on Friday. But the Bhopal MP, who has been criticised for referring to Godse as a patriot, insisted that her statement had been distorted.
She also mounted a counter-offensive against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who had, in a tweet, referred to her as “terrorist Pragya”.
“It is unlawful to call me a terrorist when I haven’t been held guilty…. Will questions be asked of the member of this House who called me a terrorist? Will there be action,” she said.
Watch : Pragya Thakur clarifies on ‘deshbhakt’ Godse remark, attacks Rahul Gandhi
The first-time MP said she had filed a privilege complaint with the Speaker’s office. Responding to her demand of a privilege motion against him, Rahul Gandhi said, “Do it. Do whatever you want to. I have clarified my position.”
Pragya Thakur had stepped on a political landmine when she interjected during a debate in the Lok Sabha when DMK lawmaker A Raja was speaking on the SPG Amendment Bill. Raja had referred to Udham Singh, who assassinated General O’Dyer, the man responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919, before moving on to cite a statement by Godse on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi.
It is around this point that Pragya Thakur interjected.
Pragya Thakur claimed that her reference to deshbhakt, or patriot, was aimed at Udham Singh.
Before she got down to targeting her critics, Pragya Thakur said: “I respect Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the nation”.
“If I have hurt anyone with my comments, I regret and tender my apology,” she said.
The BJP initially cited her clarification but later decided to crack the whip. Yesterday, BJP working president JP Nadda condemned her remark, announced the party’s decision to drop her from the consultative committee of MPs for the defence ministry and barred her from attending parliamentary party meetings for the rest of this session.
Pragya Thakur’s apology and clarification in the Lok Sabha is seen as her attempt to cap the controversy.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the house wouldn’t allow anyone to glorify the assasination of Mahatma Gandhi. “Yesterday the Defence Minister gave the clarification on behalf of the government. The MP (Pragya Singh Thakur) has apologised too,” he said, according to news agency ANI.
Om Birla also asked political parties to take a step back.
“We shouldn’t politicise this issue (BJP MP Pragya Thakur referring to Nathuram Godse as ‘deshbhakt’ in the Lok Sabha). If we do, it’ll be before the world. So I said that the remarks won’t be recorded,” he said.