Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur was elected in the national polls this year
Pragya Singh Thakur, a first-time BJP parliamentarian from Madhya Pradesh, has told party workers that she "wasn't elected to get drains and toilets cleaned", a statement that many saw as arrogant and at odds with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" or clean India mission.
Speaking to BJP workers at Sehore, which comes under her parliamentary constituency of Bhopal, Pragya Thakur said: "We haven't been elected to clean your drains, ok? We haven't been elected to clean your toilets, please understand. The work for which I have been elected, I will do honestly, I have said that before and I will say it again."
"It is the duty of a Member of Parliament to work in coordination with local public representatives, including local MLAs (legislators) and municipal councillors for the overall development of the constituency… Get your local issues and work done through the local representatives instead of calling me on my phone every now and then," Pragya Thakur told party workers.
The 49-year-old was reportedly responding to a BJP worker complaining about the lack of hygiene and cleanliness in his area.
While campaigning for the national election, the saffron-robed politician, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, had made a series of controversial statements like describing Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot.
Her comments infuriated PM Modi, who said he would "never be able to forgive" the lawmaker for the man who killed Gandhi.
Pragya Thakur's latest comment has also drawn sharp reactions from rival parties.
Congress leader Tariq Anwar said her words showed her attitude towards the clean India campaign. "PM Modi should take action against her," he said.
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