Bhopal district returning officer on Sunday issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur on allegations that she campaigned even as the Election Commission’s ban was in force, reported News18. The poll panel had on May 1 barred Thakur from campaigning for 72 hours. The ban came to effect from 6 am on May 2.

The notice was sent to her after the Congress complained that Thakur violated the rules of prohibition, reported ABP. During the 72-hour ban, she went from temple to temple and campaigned covertly via religious songs, alleged the Congress.

The election officer has asked Thakur to explain within two days why she defied the ban. She officially resumed her poll campaign in Bhopal on Sunday morning after the ban ended.

Responding to the fresh notice, Thakur said, “Main ek sanyasi hoon. Mandir, puja paath, aadhyatm, rashtra kalyan aur gau mata mere jivan ke aadhar hai … mujhe inse rokne wale apne jivan ke bare me sochen. [I am a seer. My life is about temples, prayer, spirituality, the welfare of the nation and cow protection. Those preventing me from these should think about their own lives].”

The Election Commission’s notice on May 1 came for Thakur’s remarks about former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare and for expressing pride about her role in the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.

The poll body “strongly condemned” Thakur’s comments and warned her “not to repeat the misconduct in future”. It had asked the police to file a First Information Report against the BJP leader on on April 22 for the Babri Masjid comment.