Amid row over BJP MP Pragya Thakur purportedly referring to Mahatma Gandhi's assassin as a 'deshbhakt' (patriot) in the Lok Sabha, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi has said she did not take the name of Nathuram Godse.
"Her microphone was off. She made the objection when the name of Udham Singh was being taken. She has even clarified this and has also told it to me personally. She did not take the name of Godse or anyone else. There is nothing on the record like that," Joshi told ANI on Wednesday.
The Union Minister said, "it is not right to simply spread news like this."
On the other hand, leader from ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U), KC Tyagi, has said that Pragya Thakur is openly defying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and should be expelled from the party.
"The entire world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is propagating this. The statement given by the BJP MP is objectionable. This should be handed over to the ethics committee so that her membership can be ended," he said.
"She is openly defying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is not even worthy of being kept in the party. She should be expelled from the party," Tyagi added.
Thakur has clarified that she was referring to Udham Singh when she made the statement.
"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 the name of patriots - 'Deshbhakto ka naam mat lijiye'," she said.
Opposition leaders have also severely criticised Thakur over the purported statement. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has asked the BJP to clarify its stand in the matter.
"Pragya Thakur always speaks in favour of Nathuram Godse. BJP should clarify whether they are with Gandhi or Godse. Munh mein Gandhi aur dil mein Godse nahi chalega (Gandhi on the lips and Godse in the heart will not work)," Baghel said.
During the debate in the Lok Sabha on Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, DMK member A Raja was speaking on the bill. He referred to Godse's remarks on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi and said he nursed a grudge against him for over three decades.
Thakur interrupted Raja and said he should not give the example of 'deshbhakts' (patriots) for 'deshbhakti' (patriotism).
Earlier this year, she described Godse as a 'patriot' and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made it clear that such statements would not be tolerated by the party.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)