BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur was nominated to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence on Thursday. The Bhopal MP, who is an accused in the Malegaon blasts case, defeated former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. On 29 September, 2008, six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra's town of Malegaon.
According to reports, the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee is headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The committee also includes Opposition leaders like Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah, who is under house arrest in Kashmir.
Thakur landed in a massive controversy recently after she said, "Nathuram Godse was a patriot, is a patriot, and will remain a patriot. Those who call him a terrorist should look within, they will get a reply in this election." The saffron party faced a lot of backlash for her comment and questions were raised over her nomination in the Lok Sabha election. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he would never forgive Thakur for insulting Mahatma Gandhi by calling his assassin Nathuram Godse a 'true patriot'.
She is currently under trial for multiple charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Malegaon blasts case. The charges include Sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA and sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of the IPC. Thakur has also been charged under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act.
The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs arranges meetings for the consultative committees of both the Houses of Parliament. The main purpose of these groups is to provide a forum for informal discussions between the Centre and various MPs on policies and programmes of the government and the manner of their implementation. Meetings of these Committees are held both during the session and inter-session period of Parliament.
The maximum limit of membership on a consultative committee is 40 from both the Houses. The agenda for the meeting is decided by the chairman of the committee, which is Rajnath for the current session, either on the basis of suggestions received from the members or in consultation with members during the preceding meeting of the committee.