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18 Feb 2020, 18:25 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Sadhvi Pragya says willing to take on Digvijaya from Bhopal

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18:10 HRS IST

Bhopal, Mar 25 (PTI) Hindutva leader Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who is facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case under UAPA, is ready to take on Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat if she is given a ticket by "organisation".

With the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) yet to announce the name of the party candidate from Bhopal, various names are doing rounds in the party circles, one of them is 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.

"I am ready to take on Digvijaya Singh if 'sanghatan' (apparently referring to the BJP) asks me to do so," Thakur told PTI over phone from Delhi Monday, 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.

She denied that she had contacted the BJP leadership for ticket.

The self-proclaimed godwoman also said that she would not fight against Singh as Independent candidate.

Thakur said she was born and brought up in Lahar area of Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh.

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.

Thakur was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the 2008 bomb blasts case.

However, a special NIA court in December 2018 refused to discharge her from the case.

Though the court dropped provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her, Thakur is being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court last year.

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, on September 29, 2008.

A BJP leader had Sunday said the party was working on the "plan B" over selection of candidates from Bhopal, following the entry of Singh in the poll fray from Bhopal.

State BJP president Rakesh Singh had said the central leadership of the party would take a call on the Bhopal candidate.

Bhopal constituency is spread over eight assembly segments, namely Berasia, Bhopal Uttar, Narela, Bhopal Dakshin-Paschhim, Bhopal Madhya, Govindpura, Huzur and Sehore.

In the last assembly elections in 2018, the Congress had won three out of eight assembly segments. In remaining five seats, the BJP witnessed a slide in its margin.

Alok Sanjar is the sitting MP from Bhopal.

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