Pragya Thakur apologizes for Godse remark; says statement was 'distorted'
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Singh Thakur has tendered an apology for praising Mahatma Gandhi's assassin in the Parliament. Thakur had referred to Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a 'patriot' during a debate in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. However, she later claimed she was misquoted as she referred to Udham Singh as a patriot and not Godse. Here's all that happened.
Here's what Thakur had said
During a discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP A Raja mentioned Nathuram Godse. Raja was quoting Godse's statement wherein he said he held a grudge against Gandhi for 32 years, when Thakur interjected saying, "Don't give the example of patriots," to a massive uproar. Her statement was struck from records by Speaker Om Birla.
You can watch the video clip here
'Interrupted Raja when he named Udham Singh, not Godse'
Notably, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi later claimed that Thakur was referring to the revolutionary Udham Singh, who killed the former lieutenant governor of Punjab (British India), Michael O' Dwyer, two decades after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Thakur told ANI that she interrupted Raja when he named Udham Singh. Since Thakur's microphone wasn't on, Joshi said her remark cannot be recorded.
Thakur sacked from Defence Ministry panel after remark
Meanwhile, Thakur was in news recently when she was nominated to a Defense Ministry consultative committee, headed by Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. On Thursday, she was sacked from the panel and barred from parliamentary party meetings.
Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot: Rahul Gandhi
However, considering Thakur has called Godse a patriot before, her clarification didn't bear enough weight. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Thursday, "Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot. A sad day in the history of India's Parliament." Separately, Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh threatened to burn Thakur alive if she stepped foot in the state. Thakur represents the Bhopal constituency in the Parliament.
I apologize if someone was hurt: Thakur
Now, on Friday, Thakur said in the Lok Sabha, "I apologize if someone was hurt," adding her remarks were distorted and taken out of context. She went on to say, "An MP referred to me as 'terrorist'," she said, referring to Gandhi's tweet, "It's an attack on my dignity, as a woman, sanyasi, and parliamentarian. No charges against me have been proven in court."
You can watch a clip of Thakur's statement here
Thakur demands privilege motion against Gandhi
Defending Thakur, BJP MP Nishikant Dube said calling her a terrorist is "worse than Mahatma Gandhi's assassination." Further, she has sent her demand for a privilege motion against Gandhi to Lok Sabha Speaker. She was also asked to tender an unconditional apology in the Parliament. The Speaker has called for a meeting of floor leaders of all parties to end the row.
Thakur had called Godse a patriot earlier in May
Once before, in May, Thakur had called Godse a patriot. She had made the statement in response to Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan's "terrorist" remark on Godse. After the BJP distanced itself from the remark, she apologized and withdrew her statement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had then said that he may never be able to forgive Thakur.Share this timeline