Parliament: Pragya Thakur apologises for Godse remark, but insists she did not call him a patriot
Speaker Om Birla urged MPs not to debate on the matter anymore because Thakur’s original comments were not in the records.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Friday apologised twice in Parliament for her remarks about Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. However, she maintained that she did not call Godse a “patriot”.
Earlier in the day, she claimed her comments had been distorted and taken out of context. She offered an apology to “anyone whose sentiments she had hurt”.
Without naming Rahul Gandhi, the Bhopal MP said she had been called a terrorist by a lawmaker even though charges against her had not been proved. The Opposition created a ruckus in the Lower House after Thakur’s statement.
Here are today’s updates from Parliament:
5.18 pm: The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day.
5.17 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Guman Singh Damor has informed the Lok Sabha of a gang rape that allegedly took place in Ranchi on Tuesday. “I suggest that a special designated helpline be setup for children and women,” News18 quotes him as saying. “And this cell should assist in the filing of the FIR. Also a lady doctor, nurse should be present at the medical examination of the rape victim.”
5.12 pm: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi has pointed out in Parliament that the state national highway remains blocked for around 100 to 150 days a year. “It is difficult [to travel] because the airline prices are also high,” News18 quotes him as saying.
3.06 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur apologies again in Lok Sabha for her remarks calling Nathuram Godse a “patriot”, reports ANI. “On November 27, during discussion on Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, I did not call Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’,” she adds. “I did not even mention his name. I apologise again if I have hurt any sentiments.”
2.45 pm: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy speaks about rape of the 27-year-old woman in Hyderabad. “Speaking to state government and police to get culprits capital punishment,” he tells ANI. “It’s a matter of grave worry that a woman was subjected to such brutality. We will give sufficient assistance from Centre where needed.”
2.30 pm: The all party meeting of floor leaders to discuss Pragya Thakur’s controversial remarks remains inconclusive, according to India Today. Opposition members asked the BJP MP to apologise unconditionally, but the government did not agree to this.
1.55 pm: On BJP leader Nishikant Dubey’s demand to move privilege motion against him, Rahul Gandhi says: “Let them do it. I have made my position clear”.
1.50 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says he stands by his statement to call BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur a “terrorist” and is ready to face any action. “Yes, I stand by my statement,” he tells reporters outside Parliament. “What I have written on Twitter, I stand by it. I don’t agree with her.”
1.30 pm: Speaker Om Birla calls a meeting of floor leaders of political parties to discuss Pragya Thakur’s remarks on Nathuram Godse, PTI reports.
1.05 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 2.30 pm.
12.51 pm: Uproar continues in the Lok Sabha. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and DMK legislator A Raja demand unqualified apology from Thakur.
12.45 pm: Speaker Om Birla clarifies that Thakur’s comments were not expunged but not recorded in the first place. He urges MPs not to debate on the matter anymore because Thakur’s comments were not in the records.
12.39 pm: BJP MP Nishikant Dubey demands a privilege motion against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for calling Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur a terrorist.
12.38 pm: Speaker Om Birla says the House does not permit to glorify the matter of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, according to ANI. “Yesterday the defence minister gave the clarification on behalf of the government,” he adds. “The MP [Pragya Singh Thakur] has apologised too.”
12.37 pm: Speaker Om Birla says the matter should not be politicised, reports ANI. “Not only this nation but the world follows principles of Mahatma Gandhi. “I said that the remarks won’t be recorded,” he adds.
12.28 pm: Opposition leaders in Lok Sabha create a ruckus after BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur makes a statement in the House, reports ANI. They shout slogans like “Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai” and “Down, down Godse”.
12.26 pm: Pragya Thakur says in Lok Sabha: “If my remarks have hurt anyone, I tender an apology.”
12.19 pm: BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur says in the Lok Sabha that her statements made in the House were being distorted. “I respect Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the nation,” she says. “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.”
11.30 am: In Rajya Sabha, Congress’ Jairam Ramesh says the government must do a systematic survey of people lodged in detention centres in Assam. “I visited a detention centre recently where Bangladeshis want to return but their government has refused to send them back,” he says, according to The Indian Express.
“Most of them have been state government employees here and yet were in jail,” he says. “The government must do a systematic survey of these people who are in jail on grounds that they are foreigners. It is heart rendering to see such people behind jails. I am pleading the case for those who are put behind bars for not having proper documentation, and not for illegal migration.”
11.04 am: The Bahujan Samaj Party gives adjournment notice in Lok Sabha over the “loss of crops in western Uttar Pradesh due to untimely rain and demand of compensation to farmers”.
10.20 am: The Trinamool Congress gives adjournment notice in Lok Sabha on the WhatsApp snooping controversy, reports The Indian Express. The Congress is likely to move a censure motion against Bhopal BJP MP Pragya Thakur for calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot.
10.18 am: Rajya Sabha MP Nazir Ahmed Laway gives zero hour notice over problems of farmers in Kashmir because of heavy snowfall, reports ANI.
10.15 am: Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha gives zero hour notice over the need to call a dedicated session to discuss the life and values of Mahatma Gandhi, ANI reports.
10.12 am: Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, K Suresh, Gaurav Gogoi and Abdul Khalek in the Lok Sabha give adjournment motion notice on matter of encroachment by China along Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh, reports ANI.