New Delhi: Controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur, who kicked up a storm last week with her ‘not elected to clean toilets’ remark, will soon be seen wielding a broom in her constituency.
According to BJP sources, the party’s central leadership has sternly reprimanded the firebrand leader for her remarks, which many said went against the spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship cleanliness campaign — Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
As “punishment”, Thakur has been asked to take part in or organise cleanliness programmes in her constituency and also spread the message that she is not against such drives, the sources added.
Thakur will now participate in cleanliness programmes to be organised in Bhopal’s Kolar and Berasia areas on 30-31 July. A staff member in Thakur’s team confirmed this to ThePrint.
Thakur’s remarks and BJP action
Addressing BJP workers in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore on 21 July, Thakur had said: “I have not been elected to clean your drains. Nor I am elected for cleaning the toilets in your homes. I am honestly performing the responsibilities for which I have become a parliamentarian.”
The video clip of her remarks went viral on social media, drawing sharp criticism from the opposition parties.
BJP working president J.P. Nadda had even called Thakur to Delhi Monday and expressed his displeasure over her remarks.
Thakur’s statement came as a huge embarrassment for the BJP as PM Modi has been talking about spreading awareness about cleanliness across the country.
Earlier this month, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had launched a two-day cleanliness drive in Parliament House estate to spread awareness, and several MPs had participated in it.
Queen of controversies
Thakur is, however, not new to controversies at all.
The MP, who is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, kicked up a controversy during the Lok Sabha elections after she described Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot. She had later tendered an apology.
That’s not all. In April, Thakur had said former Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare — who had investigated her role in the Malegaon blasts two months before he died during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks — was killed because she had cursed him.
The Election Commission (EC) had even issued a notice to Thakur for her remarks on Karkare.
In her reply, Thakur had said, “I didn’t make any defamatory comments for any martyr. I had mentioned about the torture inflicted on me on orders of the then Congress government.”
The EC had also ordered to file an FIR against Thakur for her remark that she was “proud” of her participation in the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.
During the election campaigning, she had even called senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh a “terrorist”.