Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP MP from Bhopal and the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, on Wednesday repeated her comment that Nathuram Godse, the murderer of Mahatma Gandhi was a “deshbhakt (patriot)”.
Thakur said this during a debate in the Lok Sabha over the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill. During the debate, DMK leader A Raja had referred to a statement of Nathuram Godse that he had been nursing resentment against the Father of the Nation for 32 years and shot him dead because of the same reason and a radical difference in the ideologies of the two.
To this, Pragya Thakur retorted that Raja cannot give an example of a patriot. This drew heavy criticism from the Opposition. Her remarks were later expunged by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, reports said. When asked to clarify her remarks, Thakur later said she would respond on Thursday.
In May, while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, Thakur had said that Nathuram Godse was a “deshbhakt (patriot)”, is a “deshbhakt (patriot)” and will remain a “deshbhakt (patriot)”. She said this while replying to a query on actor Kamal Haasan’s remark that the “first terrorist in independent India was Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse.
In April, she had said that former Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare died because she had cursed him. Karkare, who is regarded a martyr, died in action while fighting terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, along with two more senior police officers Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, who were killed outside Cama Hospital in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
Thakur is currently facing trial under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in a Mumbai court for allegedly conspiring and abetting a terror act and also has a murder to criminal conspiracy charges against her. She is currently out on bail.