'If Anyone is Hurt, I Apologise. But...' Pragya Thakur Remains Defiant After Godse Remark
Illustration by Mir Suhail.
New Delhi: The row over Pragya Thakur’s praise for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse reached fever pitch on Friday when the BJP MP offered a conditional apology in the Lok Sabha.
Called to speak after vociferous demands of unqualified apology by the Congress, Thakur followed up her apology with the claim that her statement had been misconstrued and raked up Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remark calling her a ‘terrorist’. Thakur, lawmaker from Bhopal, is undergoing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
“If anyone is hurt due to any of my statements, I apologise. But, my point was misrepresented and misinterpreted. I was called a terrorist… there is no evidence against me,” Thakur said, triggering massive protest in opposition benches.
Congress MPs rose to their feet while some trooped to the Well of the House demanding an unconditional apology. As Trinamool Congress, DMK and BSP MLAs joined in, BJP lawmakers demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi for calling Thakur a ‘terrorist’.
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey went on to say that calling Thakur a terrorist is “worse than the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi”.
The ruling BJP has tried to distance itself from its motor-mouth MP, dropping her from the parliamentary panel on defence and also barring her from attending its parliamentary party meeting during the ongoing winter session. The party, however, condemned Thakur's remarks in Parliament on Wednesday referring to Godse and said it did not support such statements.
This is not the first time that Thakur has courted controversy because of her comments on Godse.
Campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls held in April-May, she had described Godse as a patriot, triggering a huge political storm, but had later apologised.
Prime Minister Modi had also condemned her remarks, saying those were bad and wrong for the society. "She (Thakur) has sought an apology, but I would never be able to forgive her fully," he had said.