Pragya Thakur Apologises Twice For Referring To Gandhi’s Assassin Nathuram Godse As A Patriot


New Delhi: Controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pragya Thakur was forced to apologise twice on Friday on the Opposition’s insistence for referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot in the Lok Sabha.

In her first apology, which the Opposition refused to accept, Thakur said: “I apologise if comments made by me have hurt the sentiments of anyone. But I also want to say that my comments made in the House have been twisted out of context. My statement was made in another context; the way it has been twisted is deplorable.”

She also complained that a fellow MP had referred to her as a “terrorist” although no charges had been proved against her -- an apparent reference to the 2008 Malegaon blasts case in which she is an accused. The Bhopal MP also moved a privilege notice against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha for calling her a terrorist.

An infuriated opposition refused to accept the apology. After the floor leaders of all parties met the Lok Sabha speaker, it was decided that Thakur will be made to apologise a second time, unconditionally this time.

A little while after the House convened post-lunch, Thakur rose to apologise again. Resistance greeted her when she began her apology with a statement that she wanted to talk about how she was fighting for the country and the torture she had suffered“at the hands of enemy.”

Finally, she apologised, saying: “I did not call him {Godse} a patriot. Even then, if anyone is hurt, I regret the comment and apologise.”

The BJP first tried to defuse the situation by stating that the MP had not referred to Godse but Uddham Singh as a patriot . The party had on Thursday swiftly removed Thakur from the consultative committee on defence.

“She has been asked to apologise...The party saw no problem,” a senior party leader said requesting anonymity.

Thakur also met BJP working president JP Nadda to apologise for the comment . According to a person privy to developments, although the party is not considering her expulsion, a move is underway to ensure she is not part of the BJP’s parliamentary party meetings.

Senior minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday had clarified that the BJP condemned any philosophy which subscribed to the view that Mahatama Gandhi’s killer was a patriot. Outside Parliament, Rahul reacted to Thakur’s attack on him, asserting that he stood by his remarks accusing her of being a “terrorist” and was ready to face any action.

The Youth Congress organised a protest demonstration in New Delhi. “Inaction on the part of PM clearly shows his latent support to Thakur and Godse’s sinister thought,” Youth Congress president Srinivas BV said.

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