Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur on Monday sparked a fresh controversy when she backed former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's comment that Jawaharlal Nehru was a "criminal" for imposing Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. "Whoever will hurt our motherland, anyone who tries to break our India, surely is a criminal," she said on India's first prime minister.
On the centre's decision to end Article 370 by a presidential order, she said those opposing the move were not patriotic. "Those who are happy with the removal of Sections 370 and 35A are proud of our country, those who are proud of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are patriots," she added.
The opposition, led by the Congress, has opposed the centre's move, saying the decision was taken without any consultation with stakeholders.
Earlier, BJP Vice President Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said that the introduction of Article 370 was a criminal act, triggering a verbal exchange with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
"The introduction of Article 370 was a crime. It led to terrorism while Sheikh Abdullah's family prospered. The people of Kashmir remained poor. Nehru committed the crime of announcing ceasefire in war with Pakistan, at the time when Indian forces were driving out the Pakistani infiltrators from Jammu and Kashmir. Due to this, one-third of the portion (PoK) remained with Pakistan," he was quoted by news agency ANI last week.
A furious Digvijaya Singh retorted: "Nehru ke pairon ki dhool bhi nahi hai Shivraj, sharm aani chahiye unko (Shivraj is not even worth the dust of Nehru's feet, he should be ashamed)."
Pragya Thakur, a first-time MP who is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, was ordered by the BJP to rein in her views after a huge backlash over her comment that Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse was a patriot.
The Congress has slammed Pragya Thakur for her remark.
"Pragya Thakur's history is not hidden. It's not her, it's the Godse inside her who is speaking. Be it Pragya Thakur or Shivraj Singh Chouhan, these are people from Godse's ideology. Some times they say objectionable words for Gandhi ji, some times for Nehru ji," Congress leader Shobha Oza said.