2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused and BJP leader Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur will contest from Bhopal constituency in Madhya Pradesh against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Thakur’s name was included in the list of four candidates released by the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh just hours after she joined the party.
On her candidature from Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya said she was ready and that she is already involved in the election activities.
Sadhvi Pragya, who is facing trial in the Malegaon blast case under UAPA, earlier in the day joined the BJP after meeting senior leaders Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Ram Lal, and Prabhat Jha at the party office in Bhopal.
Soon after joining the party, she said she will contest and ensure her victory in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
Various other names were also doing rounds in the party circles, one of them was that of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The BJP has been holding this seat since 1989. The Congress had last won the seat in 1984.
Earlier last month, Sadhvi Pragya had said that she was ready to take on Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat if she is given a ticket by “organisation”.
“I am ready to take on Digvijaya Singh if ‘sanghatan’ (apparently referring to the BJP) asks me to do so,” Thakur told PTI after her name started doing rounds as a potential nominee.
The surprise candidature of Singh has prompted the BJP to redraw its strategy for Bhopal.
“Digvijaya is an anti-Hindu leader. He had called Hindus terrorists,” Thakur said.
A post-graduate in history, Thakur had worked with RSS-affiliate Akhil Bharti Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and ‘Durga Vahini’ or women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). She is known for delivering fiery speeches.
Bhopal constituency is spread over eight assembly segments, namely Berasia, Bhopal Uttar, Narela, Bhopal Dakshin-Paschhim, Bhopal Madhya, Govindpura, Huzur and Sehore.
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls in four stages during phase 4, 5, 6 and 7 scheduled on April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19 respectively.