All I did was defend revolutionary Uddham Singh: Pragya on Godse row

Pragya, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley
The Bhopal MP also said she was dubbed as a terrorist despite being acquitted by a court | PTI/File

In the backdrop of a raging controversy over her statement calling Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot” in Parliament, BJP MP Pragya Thakur on Thursday (November 28) in her defence said that her remarks were against the “insult” to revolutionary Udham Singh, stating that the “storm of lies becomes so big at times that even day appears to be night”.

Her tweet defending her comments, which was seen as a praise for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, came after the BJP barred her from attending its parliamentary party meeting during the ongoing Parliament session and sacked her from a consultative committee on defence. “Storm of lies becomes so big at times that even day appears to be night but the Sun does not lose its light. People should not be swayed by this storm. Truth is that I did not tolerate insult to Udham Singh yesterday,” the Bhopal MP tweeted.

Earlier in the day, the BJP announced that Thakur has been barred from attending the party’s parliamentary party meeting in the ongoing Parliament session and has been removed from the consultative committee on defence.

BJP working president JP Nadda announced the disciplinary action against her while condemning Thakur’s remarks in a bid to defuse the political crisis triggered by her remark. Nadda also said that Thakur will be removed from the consultative committee on defence, to which she was recently appointed.

“The statement given by MP Pragya Thakur is condemnable. BJP never supports such statement and we do not support this ideology. We have decided that Thakur will not attend meetings of BJP parliamentary party during the session,” he told reporters.

Also read: After praising Godse, Pragya Thakur now calls Gandhi ‘son of nation’

“We are very clear about it that we condemn her statement and we do not support this ideology,” Nadda, who was accompanied by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, “The BJP condemns any philosophy which describes Nathuram Godse as a patriot.” He added that Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy was and remains relevant today and described him as a guide (marg darshak).

The Opposition on Thursday staged a walkout in protest against Pragya’s statement.

In a tweet on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi called it a sad day in the history of India’s Parliament.

Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case is currently out on bail.

Raking up yet another controversy on Wednesday, Thakur called Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi a deshbhakt (patriot) during a discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha. She was responding to DMK MP A Raja’s narration of a statement by Nathuram Godse before a court on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi.

Also read: After ‘Karkare curse’, Pragya blames evil power for deaths of Swaraj, Jaitley

However, after opposition members protested against Thakur’s remarks, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said only the DMK leaders speech during the discussion on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill will go on record. Opposition parties attacked the government, particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the PM’s “inaction” against her proves his latent support to “Godse’s sinister thought”. The opposition party said Thakur’s remarks were a “perfect representation” of the BJPs “deplorable hate politics”.

Although Pragya declined to answer on her statement when asked by the media, speaking on her behalf Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said Thakur in her explanation to the party has said that she did not support Godse and was actually speaking about freedom fighter Udham Singh.

Condemning the statement of the BJP MP, Congress said it was the perfect representation of deplorable hate politics.

“Repeatedly referring to Nathuram Godse as a deshbhakt is a perfect representation of BJP’s deplorable hate politics. Will PM Modi condemn Pragya Thakur’s remarks or continue to stay silent?” the Congress tweeted.

Also read: Sadvi Pragya rapped over toilet remarks, asked not to embarrass party

Always in the news for her controversial statements, Thakur was issued a showcause notice by the BJP in May for lauding Godse as a patriot. “Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt, he is and will remain a deshbhakt. Those calling him a terrorist should instead look at themselves. They will be given a befitting reply in this election,” the controversial leader had said while attending a roadshow. She had later tendered an apology for her statement.

However, Prime Minister Modi had said the remarks made about Gandhiji or Nathuram Godse were very bad and very wrong for society. “She has sought an apology but I would never be able to forgive her fully,” he had said.

The BJP had immediately got into damage control and distanced itself from Thakur’s statement and asked her to tender a public apology.

(With inputs from agencies)