The Congress on Thursday launched a stunning attack on the Centre’s Narendra Modi government after terror-accused BJP MP Pragya Thakur was included in the Parliamentary Panel on Defence. The Congress termed the development an ‘insult to our nation’s defence forces.’
A tweet by the Congress read, “Pragya Thakur, a terror accused & Godse fanatic has been nominated by the BJP govt. to be a member of the Parliamentary Panel on Defence. This move is an insult to our nation’s defence forces, to our nation’s esteemed parliamentarians & to every Indian.”
The 21-member parliamentary consultative committee on defence will be headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
In a separate tweet, the party wrote sarcastically, “Finally, Modi ji has forgiven Pragya Thakur.” This was in reference to Modi’s famous statement saying that he can never forgive Pragya Thakur for glorifying Nathuram Godse, the Hindutva terrorist, who killed Mahatma Gandhi.
Speaking to a news channel at the peak of this year’s Lok Sabha polls, Modi had said, “She has apologised. That is a different thing. But in my heart, I cannot forgive her.” Modi had said that people like Pragya ought to think a hundred times before making such statements in the future.
Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan wrote on Twitter, “Pragya Thakur Nominated to Parliamentary Panel on Defence. Modi said he couldn’t forgive the Malegaon blasts case accused after she termed Nathuram Godse a ‘patriot’. But of course a terror accused is the most suitable person for deciding the country’s defence.”
Pragya is a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon terror attacks. Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on 29 September 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in the Nasik district of north Maharashtra, 270 kms away from Mumbai.
The Hindutva terror-accused was banned for three days by the Election Commission during this year’s parliamentary polls after her comments on the Babri Masjid were found to be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct. In an interview to a TV channel, the Pragya had bragged about her role in demolishing the 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992.
This was the third notice that the terror accused had received from the Election Commission since the BJP fielded her as its candidate to contest from the Bhopal parliamentary seat. On one occasion, she had controversially insulted the former Maharashtra ATS chief, Hemant Karkare, by claiming that the latter was shot dead by Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab because she had wished so.