Stand by My Statement, Says Rahul as BJP Demands Privilege Motion Over 'Terrorist Pragya' Tweet

Stand by My Statement, Says Rahul as BJP Demands Privilege Motion Over 'Terrorist Pragya' Tweet

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he stood by his remarks on Twitter terming BJP MP Pragya Thakur a "terrorist" and was ready to face any action.

"Yes, I stand by my statement. What I have written on Twitter, I stand by it. Yes," he told reporters after BJP MP Nishikant Dubey demanded a privilege motion against Gandhi for calling Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast, a “terrorist”.

Asked about BJP calling for action against him, Gandhi said, "That's ok. There's no problem. Whatever they want to do, I'll welcome."

Gandhi had hit out at Thakur over her remarks on Godse on the floor of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and said she has displayed the heart of the BJP and the RSS, and it cannot be hidden.

"Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse, a patriot. A sad day, in the history of India's Parliament," Gandhi had said on Twitter.

Thakur, the BJP MP from Bhopal, had created an uproar with her statement glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin. After protests by opposition parties all through Thursday, she was called to the Lok Sabha on Friday and asked to apologise.

But she remained defiant in her apology at first, adding a ‘but’ immediately after saying sorry for her conduct. “If anyone is hurt due to any of my statements, I apologise. But, my point was misrepresented and misinterpreted. I was called a terrorist… there is no evidence against me,” Thakur said, triggering massive protest in opposition benches.

She was then forced to read out another apology, this time one that was agreed to by the floor leaders of all parties. However, she again started off with her alleged mistreatment. Her microphone was muted after she completed the apology.

Protests against Thakur's remark

Members of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) on Friday staged a protest on Friday against Thakur’s remarks and tried to march towards the Parliament House.

The protesters raised slogans against Thakur and the BJP. They were stopped by police at a barricade near Krishi Bhawan building.

"We demand immediate expulsion of Pragya Thakur from Parliament for her statement," IYC media in-charge Amrish Ranjan Pandey, who was leading the protest, said.

"In the temple of democracy, the member is using unacceptable language for its saint and the leader of democracy is silent. We want the speaker of the Lok Sabha to expel that member and a sedition case should be filed against her," Pandey said.

The protest was started around 12.30 pm. Around 100 protestors were dressed as Mahatma Gandhi and sat on the Rajendra Prasad Road outside Shastri Bhawan.

"This is our peaceful protest against Pragya Thakur. If they do not take any action against her, we will launch a nationwide protest in the coming days," Pandey said.

National Secretary at Indian Youth Congress Deepak Bhati Chotiwala said, "Pragya Thakur must be expelled from Parliament and also from the party."

(With inputs from PTI)