Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Friday submitted a breach of privilege motion in the Lok Sabha against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling her a terrorist, PTI reported.
She alleged that Gandhi had breached her privilege as a parliamentarian by calling her a terrorist even though no charges were proved against her. She was referring to Gandhi’s tweet from Thursday, when he had criticised her for referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse a patriot. “Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot. A sad day in the history of India’s parliament,” Gandhi had said.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat is expected to examine her complaint for merit before recommending it to Speaker Om Birla.
Thakur is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bombing case, and is facing trial in a National Investigation Agency court.
Meanwhile, Gandhi said he stood by his remarks. “Yes, I stand by my statement. What I have written on Twitter, I stand by it,” he told reporters in Delhi. He added that he welcomed whatever action came his way for the remarks. He also claimed that Thakur believes in violence, just like Godse did.
Earlier in the day, Thakur was forced to apologise in the Lok Sabha for her controversial remarks. In her first apology in the Lower House, she also claimed that her statement was distorted. However, Opposition MPs continued to demand an “unqualified apology”. After this, she again apologised and said: “On November 27, during discussion on Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, I did not call Nathuram Godse a ‘deshbhakt’. I did not even mention his name. I apologise again if I have hurt any sentiments.”
Following her remarks, the BJP had on Thursday barred Thakur from attending any meeting of the parliamentary party and dropped her from the consultative committee on defence. The Opposition’s uproar had also prompted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to tell the Lok Sabha that the BJP condemned any philosophy that described Godse as a patriot. Thakur had claimed that she had made the remark in defence of revolutionary Udham Singh.
She had called Godse a patriot during the Lok Sabha election campaign as well, but had to issue an apology following a barrage of criticism from her own party as well as the Opposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had later said he would never be able to forgive Thakur for her comments.