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Business News/ Politics / News/  ‘Gau-mutra to cure COVID’ to ‘Godse remark’: Controversies that led Pragya Thakur ‘out’ from BJP's candidate list

‘Gau-mutra to cure COVID’ to ‘Godse remark’: Controversies that led Pragya Thakur ‘out’ from BJP's candidate list

Lok Sabha polls 2024: BJP releases an initial list of 24 candidates for Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha elections, with notable names like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Pragya Singh Thakur was replaced by Alok Sharma in Bhopal.

Lok Sabha polls 2024: Sitting MP Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, was dropped from Bhopal. (Files) (PTI Photo/Vijay Verma) (PTI)Premium
Lok Sabha polls 2024: Sitting MP Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, was dropped from Bhopal. (Files) (PTI Photo/Vijay Verma) (PTI)

Lok Sabha Polls 2024: The BJP has released its initial list of 24 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh, showcasing prominent names such as former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Meanwhile, the party's announcement, released on Saturday, introduced a total of 195 candidates. Changes saw Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur being replaced by Alok Sharma, a former mayor. 

Who is Pragya Singh Thakur?

Sitting MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who is facing accusations in the Malegaon blast case, was omitted from the Bhopal constituency. Thakur, recognized for her controversial remarks, had previously triumphed over Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh in the 2019 elections by a margin of 3.65 lakh votes. Notably, candidates for five seats -- Indore, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Ujjain, and Dhar -- are yet to be announced. Despite achieving electoral success, Thakur's time in office has been overshadowed by controversies.

Comment on Hemant Karkare

Before the 2019 elections, she provoked outrage by drawing comparisons between Hemant Karkare, an Ashok Chakra awardee and former Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) chief, and mythological figures Ravan and Kans. Her comments regarding Karkare's death during the Mumbai terror attacks intensified the controversy, resulting in a show-cause notice from the Election Commission of India (ECI). Also, the BJP distanced itself from her.

Soon after, a video surfaced in which Thakur is heard uttering curses directed at Karkare during a public gathering in Bhopal. In the video, Thakur can be heard claiming that she had cursed Karkare while the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was questioning her.

Pragya Singh Thakur is quoted as saying, “Maine kaha tera sarvanash hoga. Theek sava mahine mein sutak lagta hain. Jis din main gayi thi theek usi din iske sutak lag gaya tha. Aur theek sava mahine mein jis din atankwadiyon ne isko maara us din uska anth hua (I said your destruction will come. The mourning period lasts for exactly one and a quarter months. The day I went, on that very day, its mourning period began. And on that exact day, one and a quarter months later, the terrorists killed it, and its end came).

‘Godse’ remark

Earlier, during a debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, Thakur interrupted proceedings when the DMK's A. Raja referenced a statement by Godse on why he killed Mahatma Gandhi. “You cannot give the example of a deshbhakt," she said.

Following Thakur's remarks, the BJP swiftly initiated damage control measures by denouncing her statements, stripping her of her position on the consultative committee on defence, and preventing her from participating in the parliamentary party meeting during the 2019 winter session of Parliament.

Thakur's comments were officially expunged from the records. The Opposition, led by the Congress, brought up the issue in the lower house of Parliament and demanded strong action against Pragya Thakur.

“Terrorist Pragya calls terrorist Godse a patriot. A sad day, in the history of India's Parliament," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said in a post on X.

Hate speech

At an event in December 2022, Pragya Thakur sparked controversy by asserting that Hindus have the right to safeguard themselves and respond to those who assault them and their dignity.

“Keep weapons in your homes. If nothing else, at least keep the knives used to cut vegetables sharp…Don't know what situation will arise when... Everyone has the right to self-protection. If someone infiltrates our house and attacks us, giving a befitting reply is our right," she said.

After this, a police complaint was filed against the Thakur under the Indian Penal Code, including sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, and race) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), by district Congress Committee president HS Sundaresh for her contentious statement.

‘Cow urine can cure COVID-19’

During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pragya Singh Thakur drew much criticism after she claimed that cow urine extract protects against coronavirus and lung infections.

Also Read: 'Don't have Covid-19 because I drink cow urine every day': BJP's Pragya Thakur

“Gau-mutra ark(cow urine extract) of a desi cow keeps us away from lung infection. I am in a lot of trouble ((health issues) but take the 'gaumutra ark' every day. After this, I am not supposed to take any other medicine for coronavirus. I am not affected by coronavirus infection," she had said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 03 Mar 2024, 12:07 PM IST
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