Sadhvi remains defiant before Par panel, refuses to apologise

New Delhi: VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi today remained defiant and stuck to her controversial “terrorists in Parliament” remarks after she appeared before Rajya Sabha Committee of Privileges, where opposition members asked her to tender an “unconditional” apology.

The committee headed by P J Kurien is examining a complaint of Opposition MPs against Prachi about her remarks made during the Monsoon Session. The panel had summoned Prachi to appear before it.

Emerging after the meeting, Prachi told reporters, “I am a daughter of the country. I won’t backtrack. I am being pressurised to apologise. They (the committee members) shouted me down. I said I also have the right to speak.”

Sources said that in the meeting, the panel chairman asked her to tender an apology multiple times but she kept on talking of some kind of “conditional apology” while members wanted her to tender an unconditional apology.

Sources said that Prachi, who appeared before the panel along with her lawyer, said that she was “not insulting Parliament as a institution” but stuck to her remarks that there are some terrorists in Parliament.

The matter was referred to the Committee in October last year under Rule 203 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Rajya Sabha for examination, investigation and report.

Opposition leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and TRS member K. Keshav Rao were among 20 members, who gave the privilege notice against the VHP leader, saying her remarks had “violated the dignity” of Parliament and the privilege of MPs.

Speaking at a public meeting in Roorkee, Prachi had earlier slammed those who had opposed the hanging of Yakub Memon, the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict.

“It is a big misfortune that in the Indian Parliament, we have one to two terrorists sitting there. I do not think there can be a bigger misfortune for India than this as they are disobeying the judegment of a court, because the court has proved that he (Yakub Memon) is a terrorist” she had said indirectly referring to the MPs who had opposed the hanging of Memon.

A bulletin of the Upper House had then said,” Members are informed that Chairman, Rajya Sabha has referred a question of breach of privilege arising out of the complaint of Naresh Agrawal and other Members of Rajya Sabha pertaining to alleged derogatory remarks against Members of Parliament by Sadhvi Prachi, a leader of a religious organisation, to the Committee of Privileges.”

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