Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's apology for nominating 2008 Malegaon Blast accused Pragya Thakur, adding that she should be barred from contesting Lok Sabha elections 2019. Chavan's statement comes on the heels of Pragya's remarks that her curse killed 26/11 Mumbai attack martyr Hemant Karkare.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Chavan, the senior Congress leader said, "It insults people of Maharashtra, entire police force of the country and his (Hemant Karkare) family. PM not only must apologise himself for nominating her, but also withdraw her candidature".
Former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan on Pragya Thakur's remark on former ATS Chief Late Hemant Karkare: It insults people of Maharashtra, entire police force of the country & his family. PM not only must apologise himself for nominating her, but also withdraw her candidature. pic.twitter.com/t4KEit3zIG— ANI (@ANI) April 20, 2019
Early in the week, Pragya joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.
Thakur, who is among the seven accused facing trial in Malegaon blast case, on Friday triggered a political firestorm, saying Karkare was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks because she cursed him.
Karkare had lost his life along with two other senior police officers while fighting terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Pragya, however, claimed that Karkare died just 40 days after she cursed him.
"Karkare committed an anti-national act by falsely implicating her in the Malegaon blast case and keeping her behind bars without evidence. It was treason. It was against religion," media quoted Pragya as saying.
"He tortured me and subjected me to harsh abuse which was unbearable. I told him he will be destroyed. A little over a month later he was shot dead by terrorists and the inauspicious period ended," she went on to claim further.
Pragya, however, tendered an apology for her remarks on Karkare following wide condemnations from across party lines. The BJP, on the other hand, distanced itself from her remarks, saying the party still considers Karkare a martyr.