Remarks were aimed at Udham Singh, not Godse, clarifies Pragya Thakur

Pragya Thakur (file image)

After her remark purportedly referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a ‘deshbhakt’ (patriot) triggered a furore in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, BJP MP Pragya Thakur claimed that she was referring to Udham Singh.

During a discussion in the lower house on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, when DMK leader A Raja was speaking referring to a statement made by Godse, Thakur interrupted him.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Thakur said that Raja during the discussion in the House had tried to portray all the patriots as the enemy of the state and terrorists.

“The topic that was discussed was of security and A Raja spoke about ‘deshbhakt’ Udham Singh. He said that Udham Singh nursed a grudge against General Dyer of Jallianwala Bagh massacre for 20 years before killing him. When Raja went on speaking, I interrupted to say that he should not take patriot’s name- ‘Deshbhakto ka naam mat lijiye’,” explained Thakur.

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Thakur claimed that the statement was not meant for Godse. “This was not for Nathuram Godse. I interrupted him when he named Udham Singh. Then the Speaker asked me to sit down and I obeyed. However, A Raja continued his speech and spoke about Nathuram Godse in the same way. I did not interrupt him then,” said Thakur while explaining the turn of the events.

Thakur further said, “It is painful when you bracket patriots with terrorists. I had said that you are making this speech as if all of them were the enemy and treating them as terrorists. This is all I had said,”

The DMK leader, however, claimed that Thakur had interrupted him while he made a reference to Godse statement in which he had said that he had held grudge against Gandhi for 32 years before finally deciding to assassinate him.

Raja had in said in the lower house that security should be based on threat perception and not because of political reasons while asking the Home Minister to revisit the Bill which seeks to withdraw SGP cover from persons other than Prime Minister.

Thakur had courted controversy this year when she described Godse as a ‘patriot’ and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not made it clear that such statements would not be tolerated by the party.

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