BJP pulls up Pragya Thakur over her toilet remarks

BJP pulls up Pragya Thakur over her toilet remarks

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare J P Nadda addresses a press conference on the achievements of his ministry in the last 4 years, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Controversial BJP MP from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was pulled up for the second time in three months after joining the BJP in April—this time over her remarks that she was not elected to the Lok Sabha for cleaning up toilets.

Thakur was summoned to the BJP national headquarters by party’s working president J P Nadda, who conveyed to her in no uncertain terms that the party leadership is displeased with her remarks.

Thakur, who had to tender an apology twice in the past over her remarks, chose not to speak to media after meeting Nadda.

The party’s prompt action came a day after a video went viral on social media evoking outrage, in which, speaking to people in Sehore in Madhya Pradesh, Thakur is heard saying she was not elected as an MP to clean toilets and drains.

The remarks by Thakur, a giant killer, who defeated the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh in the Bhopal parliamentary seat, came at a time when the entire NDA government and BJP party machinery is trying to drive home the message of the Prime Minister’s pet Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.

Her comments were seen as making light of the PM’s campaign.

Earlier, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, her comments lauding Nathuram Godse as a patriot, which gave the Opposition an opportunity to fan the Gandhi-versus Godse debate, landed the BJP in a soup. The Election Commission had sought a report from her on the remarks while NDA ally Nitish Kumar had asked the BJP to expel Thakur for making “highly objectionable remarks”.

She was then forced to clarify her remarks after the party officially distanced themselves from her comments. Prime Minister Modi was so upset with her remarks that he went on to say that he “will never be able to forgive her fully” for “insulting Bapu” with her remarks even after she had apologised.

Even at that time, the party had asked her to refrain from making statements that go against the policy, programmes and ideology of the party. The BJP had issued a show-cause notice to her.

Even before that, Thakur’s claim that Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks died due to her ‘curse’ had put the BJP in a tough spot. She had to tender an apology over this.

While taking oath as a Member of Parliament in June, she had triggered a row by prefixing the name of her guru to hers. After Opposition members protested, arguing that it was not according to the rules of the Parliament, Pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar directed Pragya to use the same name as mentioned in the election certificate issued to her by the Election Commission.