on Friday said she never referred to
as a patriot and apologised, for the second time in a day, for her remark.
“On November 27, during discussion on Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, I did not call Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot). I did not even mention his name. I apologise again if I have hurt any sentiments,” she said in Lok Sabha
This is Thakur’s second apology for her remark on Godse. On Wednesday, a controversy had erupted over her comment on Godse in Parliament on Wednesday. Her remark was expunged by the Speaker.
Earlier today, the opposition protested in the House after Thakur tendered her first apology.
“If I have hurt anyone with my comments, I regret and tender my apology,” she said, without taking Godse’s name.
“My statements made in Parliament are being distorted. I respect Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the nation,” she said, while speaking in Lok Sabha.
Unsatisfied with Thakur’s apology, the Congress strongly protested in the House and shouted slogans. Opposition members rejected her apology, saying it was not conditional and insisted that she apologise unconditionally.
They rose in protest and raised ‘Down! Down! Godse’ slogans. They also demanded the ouster of Thakur from Parliament.
In her statement, Thakur also attacked “a member of the House” for calling her a “terrorist”. “A member of the House referred to me as ‘terrorist’. It is an attack on my dignity. No charges against me have been proven in court,” she said.
On Thursday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, had called Thakur a “terrorist” for her remark. “Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot. A sad day, in the history of India’s Parliament,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot. A sad day, in the history of India’s Parliament.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) 1574919658000
Amidst opposition’s call for the ouster of Thakur, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey demanded to bring privilege motion against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for calling BJP MP Pragya Thakur a ‘terrorist’.
“Congress has made government with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena called Nathuram Godse a patriot in ‘Saamna’. The Congress can fall to any level for their greed for power,” he said.
Rahul later responded by saying that he stood by his remarks on Twitter terming BJP MP Pragya Thakur a “terrorist” and was ready to face any action. He also claimed that Thakur believes in violence, the way Nathuram Godse did.
“Yes, I stand by my statement. What I have written on Twitter, I stand by it. Yes,” he told reporters when asked if he stood by his statement calling Thakur a “terrorist”.
In the Lok Sabha, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded that Thakur should issue “unqualified apology”. “We just have one demand, we want unqualified apology,” Chowdhary said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla urged the members of the House to maintain decorum and said that the issue should not be politicised.
“Not only this nation but the world follows principles of Mahatma Gandhi. We shouldn’t politicise this issue (BJP MP Pragya Thakur referring to Nathuram Godse as ‘deshbhakt’ in LS). If we do, it’ll be before the world. So I said that the remarks won’t be recorded,” he said.
The Speaker said that the House doesn’t glorify the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
“This House doesn’t permit to glorify the matter of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi whether in this House or outside. Yesterday the defence minister gave the clarification on behalf of the government. The MP (Pragya Singh Thakur) has apologised too,” he added.
On Thursday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said BJP condemned any philosophy which describes Mahatma Gandhi’s killer as a patriot.
Singh said Gandhi’s philosophy was, is and will remain relevant and described him as a guide (margdarshak) for the nation.
Without naming Thakur, the Speaker then said he would “ask the respected member to come to the House at noon after Question Hour”. Birla also called a meeting of floor leaders of different political parties to end the row over BJP MP Pragya Thakur’s remarks on Godse.
(With inputs from agencies)