BJP lawmaker apologises for controversial remark


A day after she removed as the party’s member of parliamentary panel on defence, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Pragya Singh Thakur tendered an apology in the Lok Sabha on Friday for her controversial remarks about Nathuram Godse, the assassin of India’s Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

Thakur had set off a row on Wednesday with her remarks in the Lok Sabha during Dravida Munnetra Kazagham member A Raja's narration of a statement by Godse before a court on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi. “If my comments have hurt in anyway, I regret and seek apology. My comments in the House have been twisted," Pragya said without taking Godse's name.

Thakur also said she respects and pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi for his contribution to the country. The lawmaker also said that she was dubbed as a terrorist by a parliamentarian despite being acquitted by the court. "One member has publicly termed me as a terrorist, though I have been acquitted by the court," she said and added that making such remarks too were against the law.

Unsatisfied with Thakur's apology, the Congress strongly protested in the House and demanded her suspension. Earlier, as soon as the House met for the day, Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Pragya’s remarks also hurt the dignity of the chair and as the custodian of the House, the Speaker, who should take action.

Pragya not only came under opposition attack but from condemnation from her own party for her remarks on Godse. 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.

Thakur's remarks on Godse during a debate on the Special Protection Group Amendment Bill on Wednesday was never part of the records.