Cong minister jibes at Pragya appointment to key panel

Govind Singh

Madhya Pradesh Minister Govind Singh on Thursday took potshots at BJP MP Pragya Thakur over her appointment to the parliamentary consultative committee on defence, wondering if the controversial politician has been named to the key panel to "finish off Pakistan completely".

Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case of Maharashtra, will be part of the 21-member committee headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, according to a bulletin issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Maybe the country wants to use her brains to finish off Pakistan completely, Singh quipped when reporters sought his comment on Thakur's nomination to the crucial panel.

As scribes burst into peals of laughter over his remark, the Congress minister said, I did not nominate her to the panel. In their (the BJP-led NDA government) mind, the decision was right so they took it.

This is theirs...Minister and Home Ministers decision. She will work accordingly, said the cooperative minister, the MLA from Lahar, the native place of Thakur in Bhind district.

Women are doing well and excelling in every field. They were outshining boys in examinations, he said.

I have seen a lot in her. She has become Bhopal MP. What more you want to see in her? he said when scribes asked him to comment on Thakur's qualities.

I know Pragya Singh since her birth...her schooling days. I know her entire family. Her house is just 100 metres away from mine (in Lahar).

"Her father was my friend. I know her, you all too know her, he said.

The BJP MP, currently on bail in the blast case, had defeated her Congress rival Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal in her maiden election in May this year.

The 49-year-old saffron-robed sadhvi has courted controversy on several occasions in the recent past with her remarks, including calling Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a "patriot".

During her Lok Sabha poll campaign, she said that Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks due to her curse.

In September, she had called media persons of Sehore dishonest.

In July, she had told a gathering of BJP workers that she had not become a lawmaker to clean drains or toilets, an apparent dig at the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a flagship programme of the Modi government.

In August, she had said the Opposition was using 'marak shakti' (killing power) to harm BJP leaders. Her comments had come in the backdrop of the death of former Union ministers and BJP stalwarts BJP MP Pragya Thakur and Sushma Swaraj.  

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