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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

At Pragya Thakur’s oath in Parliament, a row over her name

The mention of Swami Purna Chetnanand Avdheshanand Giri as suffix to her name, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, evoked sharp reaction from the Opposition members.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2019 23:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Thakur, the Malegaon blast accused, took oath in Sanskrit and ended it with ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan
Thakur, the Malegaon blast accused, took oath in Sanskrit and ended it with ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan(ANI)

Pragya Singh Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Lok Sabha member from Bhopal, on Monday caused a furore during her oath-taking in Parliament’s lower House as she read out her spiritual guru’s name after her own. She had to eventually reread her oath.

While taking her oath in Sanskrit, Thakur read aloud her name as Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur Swami Purna Chetnanand Avdheshanand Giri prompting protests from the Opposition lawmakers.

As per rules, members need to stick to their names and avoid religious prefixes or suffixes.

While Thakur said that her name was spelled so in her official records, it led to noisier protests from the Opposition. Pro tem speaker Virendra Kumar then said that Thakur can take the oath either in the name of the god or in the name of the Constitution. Thakur continued to contend that her name in the records was so and prompted Kumar to ask Lok Sabha secretary general to check them.

“We are checking the records, please sit,” Kumar told the protesting lawmakers to calm them down.

Thakur eventually sought to take the oath in the name of God. She ended the oath with chant of Bharat Mata Ki Jai. She earlier proceeded to take her oath as a member of the House amid chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

Thakur, who is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, defeated former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh in the Lok Sabha elections. During her campaign, she praised Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. She later apologised for it.