The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday named Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur the party’s candidate from Bhopal. She will contest against veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. Thakur joined the saffron party on Wednesday morning, reported ANI.
Even before the party officially announced her candidature, Thakur had told reporters that Digvijaya Singh was no challenge for her. “I would contest and win for sure,” she added.
Thakur visited the BJP office in Bhopal on Wednesday to meet senior leaders such as Ram Lal, Prabhat Jha and Narottam Mishra. “Whoever is working against the nation, we all would fight against them and would defeat them,” Singh told reporters. “Jab rashtra surakshit hoga, hum sab surakhsit honge. Tab hi hum apna kaam kar payenge [When the nation is safe, we all would be safe and would be able to discharge our duties].”
On September 29, 2008, at least six people died and several were injured in two blasts in Maharashtra’s Malegaon. Thakur is one of the accused in the case. She has been charged under Section 18 (conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code. Currently, she is out on bail.
Thakur, who is known for her incendiary comments and speeches, had been associated with the radical Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat and Durga Vahini, which is the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
The Congress criticised the BJP for the choice. “When known faces like Narendra Singh Toamr, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharti fled away from the contest, the BJP was forced to import a candidate against Digvijaya Singh,” party spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi told News18. He suggested that Thakur was not even a BJP member.
Bhopal has been a bastion for the BJP since 1989. This time, party veterans like Narendra Singh Tomar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharti showed no interest in contest from the seat.