Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, the party’s candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, has taken a dig at BJP candidate and terror accused Pragya Singh Thakur, saying there would have been no need for surgical strikes if she had cursed Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, NDTV reported.

The Indian Air Force struck Jaish’s camp in Balakot in February, days after the terror organisation killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

On April 19, Thakur had said that former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare died in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks because she had cursed him. Karkare had investigated her in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blasts. Thakur is out on bail at present.

Digvijaya Singh made the remark at an election rally in Ashok Gardens in Bhopal on Saturday, ANI reported. “Prime minister had said that terrorists were hunted even when they were hiding in hell,” the Congress leader said, criticising Narendra Modi. “But I want to ask him where was he when Pulwama, Pathankot and Uri attacks happened in the country. Why we were not able to get rid of such attacks?”

Singh claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party has hurt Hindus’ religious sentiments. “In our religion, we say ‘Har Har Mahadev’ but our religious sentiments have been hurt by the BJP as they say ‘Har Har Modi’,” he alleged. “We all know whose photo will appear on the screen if we type ‘feku [liar]’ on Google.”

The Congress leader claimed that former Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan got scared when the Congress announced his candidature. “Uma Bharti refused to contest, [Babulal] Gaur said he is not well,” Singh added. “However, just a day before the last date of filing nomination, they announced the candidature of Pragya Thakur from Bhopal.”

Senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, have defended Thakur’s candidature, saying it is a symbol to answer all those who have demeaned a great civilisation. Bhopal will go to the polls on May 12 and votes will be counted on May 23 along with rest of the constituencies across the country.