Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Anantkumar Hegde attacked Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala for his comments on Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur after she was nominated to the parliamentary consultative committee of the Ministry of Defence.
Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya was on Wednesday nominated to the 21-member parliamentary consultative committee headed by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
As the development made headlines, Randeep Surjewala took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving defence responsibility to a blast accused.
He said, "It can be called the country's misfortune that a blast accused MP has been made a member in a defence committee. PM Modi could not forgive her from his heart but gave her a responsibility as important as the security of the country."
"That is why, it is possible if Modi is there," Randeep Surjewala said.
The union minister later took to Twitter to attack Randeep Surjewala, saying the Congress party has a "rich tradition of rewarding the criminals consistently for their crimes".
Defending Sadhvi Pragya's inclusion in the defence committee, the union minister said the Bhopal MP was not convicted in the Malegaon blast case. He said the allegations on Sadhvi Pragya have had been made by the Congress "thugs" who have themselves have been in or out of jail.
Anantkumar Hegde said, "Why is this guy cribbing? #INCIndia has a rich tradition of rewarding criminals consistently for their crimes! @SadhviPragya_MP is NOT convicted yet & the allegations have been fabricated by the same thug party's leaders who are in jail / out on bail!"
The 21-member Parliamentary Consultative Committee also includes the likes of opposition leaders Farooq Abdullah, TMC's Sougata Roy, DMK's A Raja and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Sadhvi Pragya had courted controversy with her remarks on a number of occasions.
Sadhvi Pragya had landed in a major controversy when she called Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, a patriot. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had issued a show-cause notice to Sadhvi Pragya over the remarks.