BJP MP from Bhopal and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Thakur has been nominated to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence, according to reports.
The 21-member committee is headed by Union Minister Rajnath Singh and also includes Opposition leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Sharad Pawar, NDTV noted.
The consultative committee is decided by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and not by parliament itself, the NDTV report added.
Thakur was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in April 2017 because she was suffering from breast cancer, according to Firstpost.
The National Investigation Agency had dropped charges against her registered under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, Scroll noted. She is, however, facing multiple charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the 2008 case.
Ahead of the elections, Thakur’s controversial statements had forced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to distance itself from her and the Election Commission to impose a 72-hour ban on her from campaigning.
What did she say?
Thakur courted controversy by calling Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a “patriot”. “Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt’, is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’,” she had said.
She had also claimed that the then Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks due to her “curse”.
“Hemant Karkare falsely implicated me. He died of his karma. I told him, he will be destroyed. I told him his entire dynasty will be erased,” PTI quoted Thakur as saying.
She was forced to take back her statement and apologise. “I felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it, therefore I take back my statement and apologise for it, it was my personal pain,” she had said.
In a statement, the BJP had said that it has always considered Karkare as a martyr and the comments made by Thakur are her personal thoughts since she underwent “years of physical and mental torture”.
Reactions to Thakur’s nomination to panel
Thakur’s nomination to the Parliamentary Panel on Defence has not gone down well with Opposition parties and people on Twitter.
Congress said the Modi government’s move is an “insult to our nation’s defence forces, to out nation’s esteemed Parliamentarians and to every Indian”.
Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweeted that the message from Thakur’s appointment is clear, “it’s acche din for Nathuram Godse Bhakts”.
Congress Secretary Pranav Jha told IANS, ”It is irony that such a person has been named in the Defence panel by the government”.
“Bringing such people, against whom the cases are going in court is not good for democracy. Everything is not guided by the Constitution but some decisions are taken on moral grounds too,” he added.
Activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan also tweeted:
(With PTI inputs)