Bhopal: BJP, finally playing Hindu card, has launched Sadhvi Pragya Thakur as its candidate against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency. The saffron-clad sadhavi had joined the BJP only hours before her name was announced as its candidate. She was acquitted by court in Malegaon blast case and also RSS Pracharak Sunil Joshi murder case. She had tense relations with Singh, who had dubbed her mastermind of Malegaon blast.
Besides, Bhopal the party on Wednesday announced its candidates from three Lok Sabha constituencies. KP Yadav has been pitted against Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna. The party has named Rajbahadur Singh and Ramakant Bhargava as its nominees from Sagar and Vidisha respectively. This time, three sitting MPs have not been given ticket. While Alok Sanjar was denied candidature from Bhopal, Laxminarayan Yadav could not get ticket from Sagar.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has not been given ticket from Vidisha seat considering her refusal to contest Lok Sabha elections this time. Yadav lost assembly polls from Mungawali seat in the resent past. Yadav had joined BJP during assembly bypolls on Mungawali seat. Yadav, who had been MP representative of Scindia, has been given ticket considering significant presence of voters of Yadav community in the area. Singh got ticket from Sagar because he is relative of former minister Bhupendra Singh.
Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan got Bhargava, who is his confidant, get ticket from Vidisha seat. Bhargava is former chairman of Apex Bank. Bhargava, who is a resident of Shahganj, is connected to Chouhan for long time. The announcement of party candidate from Indore seat has been put on hold. Earlier, the name of Shankar Lalwani from Indore seat was finalized but it was stopped following opposition of BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya at the last minute. Decision on party candidate from Indore seat will be taken after discussion with Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Vijayvargiya. The names of former minister Archana Chitnis, Gopikrishna Nema and Jitu Jirati are doing the rounds from this seat.
Tumultuous Journey: From Taint to Hustings
Six persons were killed and 101 were injured when an improvised explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off at Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Saffron-clad Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, 48, with her trademark short hair and sporting a rudraksh mala, was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. In April 2017, the Bombay High Court approved bail for Pragya.
On December 27, 2017, a special NIA court had dropped stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act charges against Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya, Sameer Kulkarni and other accused in the blast case. Currently Pragya is out on bail. Born in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, Pragya has had a long association with the RSS. A post-graduate in history, Pragya worked with the RSS student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Durga Vahini, women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Membership in morning, ticket by evening
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur on Wednesday morning reached BJP office and met national organisational general secretary Ramlal, former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other leaders. National vice president Prabhat Jha gave her party membership. Later in the evening she was announced BJP candidate from Bhopal.
Former chief minister Digvijaya Singh had termed Sadhvi Pragya Thakur as mastermind of Malegaon bomb blast. Singh, after the controversy of Zakir Nayak, had also attacked the meeting between Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Pragya. The term of ‘Saffron Terror’ was also used after the arrest of Pragya. Singh, after announcement of Pragya as BJP candidate, welcomed her.people.
‘Adharmi’ could not be strong
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, after announcement of her ticket, said during media interaction that the election is a contest between ‘Dharma’ and ‘Adharma’. Reacting to a question on Singh as strong candidate, she said a person who is ‘Adharmi’ could not be strong. She said she would tell people during election campaigning about the torture she underwent at the behest of some