Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Singh Thakur has been removed from the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence, a day after she referred to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, as a "deshbhakt (patriot)" during Lok Sabha proceedings.
Further, she has also been barred from attending BJP parliamentary party meetings.
BJP working president JP Nadda said the party condemns Thakur's remarks.
Thakur's controversial remark came during a Lok Sabha discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday.
After DMK member A Raja cited a statement by Godse, she interrupted him, saying that he shouldn't give the example of a "deshbhakt".
Subsequently, Opposition members protested, while BJP members asked her to sit down.
However, this isn't the first time Thakur has made such comments.
#WATCH BJP Working President JP Nadda: Pragya Thakur's statement (referring to Nathuram Godse as 'deshbhakt') yesterday in the parliament is condemnable. She will be removed from the consultative committee of defence. pic.twitter.com/hHO9ocihdf— ANI (@ANI) November 28, 2019
After Thakur made contentious remarks in the Parliament, Speaker Om Birla said that only the DMK leader's speech during the SPG discussion would go on record. Later, the Lok Sabha Secretariat stated that Thakur's remarks shall remain "non-recorded".
Following the comment, Congress and other Opposition parties slammed Thakur, and attacked PM Modi for not taking any action against her.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that PM is requested to say from the heart what his thoughts are about Godse.
"Modi ji, inaction against Pragya proves your latent support to Godse's sinister thought! India won't pardon you!" Congress' Randeep Surjewla tweeted.
However, in an attempt to whitewash Thakur's comments, BJP initially said that she was not referring to Godse, but freedom fighter Udham Singh.
"According to Thakur, she has not said anything about or supported Godse, she was only talking about Udham Singh, the revolutionary who killed General Dyer," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told PTI.
Evidently, the party has now taken a U-turn.
To recall, Thakur, a first-time parliamentarian, was nominated to the said panel on November 21.
Other members of the panel include Opposition leaders Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Jammu & Kashmir National Conference's Farooq Abdullah, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)'s A Raja and P Wilson, etc.
It is headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Further, it should be recalled that Thakur is under trial in a National Investigation Agency court over her involvement in the 2008 Malegaon blasts which killed six people and injured 100 others.
She faces charges under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act, and the Explosive Substances Act.
In April 2017, the Bombay High Court granted Thakur bail on health grounds.
Apart from being a terror-accused, she often makes controversial statements.
In April, she claimed former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who investigated her in the Malegaon case, died because she had cursed him.
Earlier too, she called Godse a "patriot." The BJP issued her a show-cause notice, following which, she withdrew her remarks.
PM Modi said he shall "never forgive her."
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