A man hurled a shoe at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao inside the party headquarters in New Delhi during a press conference.

The shoe missed the leader by inches. The man was immediately detained by BJP leaders and security personnel at the presser and taken out of the hall. His identity has not been confirmed.

Rao was at the time reportedly defending the party’s decision to field 2008 Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal as a candidate against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh.

He did not stop the press conference in spite of the incident and urged reporters to be seated at their places.

“This is a condemnable action on the part of the Congress party. This is yet another attempt by another Congress inspired person, who comes in here to show the same kind of mentality,” he said, as party workers held the man and escorted him out of the hall.

According to reports, the man has been taken to the police station.

The decision to field Thakur has landed the BJP in a soup. Opposition parties have slammed the saffron party for giving a ticket to the controversial leader who is out on bail on health grounds.

Earlier today, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah questioned the newly-inducted leader’s health condition – the ground on which she was granted bail.

Without naming Pragya, Abdullah said, “BJP have given ticket to a candidate who is not only an accused in a terror case but is also out on bail on health grounds. If her health condition doesn’t permit her to be in jail, how does it permit her to contest polls?”

The former Chief Minister of Jammu-Kashmir then added that he hopes the court will reject her bail because “if her health is fine for campaigning then it is also fine for jail”.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was on Wednesday inducted into the BJP, which then fielded her against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal.

She is one of the accused in the 29 September 2008 Malegaon bomb blast in which six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra.

She was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case. However, a special NIA court in 2018 charged her along with co-accused Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit and four others for terror conspiracy, murder and other related offences in the case.

All of them are facing trial in the case under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).