BJP working president J P Nadda on Monday “pulled up” Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur for her remarks that she was not elected to the Lok Sabha for cleaning up toilets, comments that were seen to be mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign.
She was summoned to the BJP headquarters, where Nadda conveyed to her the party leadership’s displeasure with her comments made at Sehore in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, party sources said.
Thakur was pulled up and asked to refrain from making statements that go against the party’s programmes and ideology, they said.
The BJP MP declined to speak to reporters as she left the party office.
Addressing a meeting of BJP workers in Madhya Pradesh, Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case who is currently out on bail, said the job of an MP is to work with MLAs, corporators and public representatives to ensure development.
“So keep this in mind … We are not here for cleaning a drain. Is it clear?. We are absolutely not (here) for cleaning your toilets. The work which we are supposed to do and elected for, we will do it honestly. This we had said in the past, saying it today and stick to it in future as well,” she said.
Thakur had won her maiden election from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat by defeating Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Her comments were embarrassing for the BJP as Modi has made the ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) programme a centrepiece of his government’s agenda. But this is not the first time she has left the BJP red-faced.
During the Lok Sabha poll campaign, she had hailed Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse as a “patriot”.
She was forced to apologise after the comments triggered an outrage, and Modi went on to say that he would not be able to forgive her despite the apology. She was issued a showcause notice as well.
Thakur had also claimed that Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks due to her “curse” as she was “tortured” by police in custody. Even then she was forced to tender an apology.