Taking a jibe at Sadhvi Pragya, BJP candidate from Bhopal, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that had she cursed Masood Azhar, India would not have to carry out surgical strikes.

Addressing an election rally in Bhopal’s Ashok Gardens, Singh said, “Pragya Thakur says she had cursed ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who had made supreme sacrifice for the country and is considered a martyr. There would have been no need of surgical strikes if she had cursed Masood Azhar.”

Azhar is the chief of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, which was responsible for a series of terror attacks on India including the Pathankot and Uri attacks.

India had in 2016 responded to the Uri terror attack with a surgical strike across the LoC on terror launchpads.

At a rally in Bhopal on 19 April, the 48-year-old Pragya Thakur had said that she cursed Hemant Karkare, the Maharashtra ATS chief in 2008, which led to his death at the hands of terrorists in the Mumbai terror attack.

Several political parties condemned her remarks and slammed the BJP. The Indian Police Service Association, too, issued a statement condemning Thakur’s remarks on the martyr.

Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case, was served a notice by the Election Commission officer following the outcry over her remarks.

Facing criticism, Pragya Thakur withdrew her comment and apologised.

“It was my personal pain. I take back my statement and apologise,” she said.

On the other hand, Singh, who is contesting on a Congress ticket from Bhopal, also slammed PM Modi.

“The PM had said that terrorists were hunted even when they were hiding in hell. 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?” he said.

Voting in Bhopal for the Lok Sabha elections will take place on 12 May. The counting of votes will be held on 23 May.