Bhopal: The BJPs action against party MP Pragya Thakur drew a mixed response in Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP has been accused of handling the fiery Sadhvi with kid gloves. She has frequently made news through controversies and embarrassed the party leadership.
Finally when the party did act against her, she reacted through a vague tweet saying, "Sometimes the whirlwind of lies is so dense that it causes darkness like night during the daytime. But the sun does not lose its shine. People should not get confused over such momentary storms. The sunlight is permanent. The truth is that yesterday I could not suffer the insult of Udham Singh ji."
However, there is no explanation on how Udham Singh's name cropped up in the discussion. The controversy relates to Sadhvi's remark on Nathuram Godse in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday which was expunged by the Speaker.
BJP working President J.P. Nadda on Thursday termed her statement as deplorable. Nadda said, "The BJP never supports such statements. We also do not support such ideology. We have decided that she will be removed from the Parliamentary Committee on Defence. She will not be allowed to attend the parliamentary party meetings during the current session."
Some people believe that removing her from the parliamentary consultative committee on defence affairs or banning her from attending the BJP parliamentary party meetings may send a strong signal to the other members. Others, however, feel the action has come too late and would have no bearing on her conduct, nor would it discourage the other members.
Party panellists on local TV news channels have been defending her, saying her expulsion from the Lok Sabha would be unfair to those who have voted for her. She has won the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat by more than 3.65 lakh votes. There are others who believe barring her from the parliamentary party meetings will do no justice to the electorate.
The Election Commission had also registered a case against Sadhvi over her statement that she was proud of pulling down the disputed structure in Ayodhya. But nothing came off it.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi has defended her saying that she never mentioned Godse in her remarks.
However, what seems to have forced the party to act against her is NDA ally JDU's reaction to her comment. JDU leader K.C. Tyagi said, "Sadhvi Pragya has openly defied Prime Minister Narendra Modi and she should be expelled from the party. Modi himself is encouraging her. The matter should be referred to the Ethics Committee and her membership should be terminated immediately."
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath also objected to Sadhvi's remarks and sought strong action against her.
However, the Kamal Nath government is also facing public criticism for soft-pedalling the Godse issue. More than a week since the Hindu Mahasabha observed the martyrdom day of Godse and an FIR was lodged against them in Gwalior, there have been no arrests so far. The government apparently believes that it can get them convicted for their action and by default grant legitimacy to their movement.