Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
In a controversial move, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Thakur has been nominated to the parliamentary consultative committee of the Ministry of Defence.
She is currently out on bail on health grounds.
Here are more details.
According to a government notification dated October 31, the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee is headed by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Thakur, a first-time parliamentarian, is named on the panel alongside 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, et al.
Naturally, the move invited strong criticism from political leaders, activists, and journalists.
The Congress party notably tweeted, "This move is an insult to our nation's defense forces, to our nation's esteemed parliamentarians & to every Indian."
Congress Secretary Pranav Jha also told IANS that her appointment was "not good for democracy," urging the BJP government to reconsider Thakur's nomination.
Fmr Home/Finance Minister of this Country is in Jail; Fmr 3 elected Chief Ministers of JK r in (house arrest) Jail but a bomb blast case under-trial is out on Bail is now appointed to advise the Central Govt on Defence Issues-Which way is Nation headed? https://t.co/6bBM3domaL— Jaiveer Shergill (@JaiveerShergill) November 21, 2019
Pragya Thakur Nominated to Parliamentary Panel on Defence.— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) November 21, 2019
Modi said he couldn't forgive the Malegaon blasts case accused after she termed Nathuram Godse a 'patriot'. But of course a terror accused is the most suitable person for deciding country's defence https://t.co/QmUKuoQNXc
To jog your memory, in July, while responding to a BJP worker's complaints about hygiene and cleanliness in his area, Thakur had said that she "wasn't elected to get drains and toilets cleaned." The statement was in stark contrast to Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign.
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.
She once called Nathuram Godse- Mahatma Gandhi's assassin- a "patriot." The BJP issued her a show-cause notice, following which, she withdrew her remarks.
PM Modi said he shall "never forgive her."
Incidentally, the consultative committee is appointed by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and not the Parliament. Further, the committee only has the authority to consult, however, its recommendations aren't irrevocable.
Separately, Farooq Abdullah, who was also nominated, remains detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre repealed the state's special status.
Opposition leaders also led protests against his absence from the Parliament's winter session.
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