BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur, accused in the Malegaon blast case, has been nominated to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence. According to the government notification dated October 21, the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee is headed by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Sadhvi Pragya defeated Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections, earlier this year. The 21-member Parliamentary Consultative Committee also includes the likes of opposition leaders Farooq Abdullah, TMC's Sougata Roy, DMK's A. Raja and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.
Objection by opposition
The Congress slammed the government after it nominated Thakur to the 21-member defense panel. The opposition said that it was ironic that such a person has been given place instead of opting for clean leaders from its flock. He further added, "The BJP had won 303 seats and they have multiple options and many of whom are clean, with no cases against them. They should have been nominated in the Defence panel.
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 - Pranav Jha, Congress Secretary
Thakur's role in Malegaon bomb blast
In a series of blasts that ripped through Malegaon, a town around 280 km from Mumbai, on September 29, 2008, six people died and nearly 100 were injured. Pragya Thakur, prime accused in the case, was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and was in jail for nine years. Thakur has been out on bail by the Bombay High Court since April 2017 on grounds of ill health.
Back in 2015, Sadhvi Pragya was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as there was no evidence against her, but the trial court refused to let her off as a motorcycle belonging to her was used in the blast. The court had to drop the charges against her under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) but is trying her under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Thakur had courted controversy with her remarks on a number of occasions. She had landed in a major controversy when she called Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, a patriot.
The BJP had issued a show-cause notice to Pragya over the remarks. Thakur had also stirred controversy by saying that then Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 terror attack because of her "curse".
(With inputs from wires)