BHOPAL–The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday fielded Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to the polls in the sixth phase on May 12.
She is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case and has spent nearly nine years in jail.
The announcement was made hours after Sadhvi Pragya joined the BJP and said that she would “fight against those who are conspiring against the nation.”
“I will bring honour to saffron,” she said soon after her name was announced as a candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Sadhvi Pragya said the people who insult religion are weak by nature. She said she would bring back glory to Hindutva and act against those who have misused the law for implementing women, sanyasi and Hindu leaders.
Former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan while addressing reporter here said Sadhvi Pragya will work for the welfare of the nation, providing a better life to the people, and make national security of the country stronger.
“I welcome Sadhvi Pragya ji in Bhopal. Hope you enjoy the civilized atmosphere of this delightful city. I pray to Mother Narmada (goddess-river) for her blessings for Sadhvi ji so that we can all follow the path of truth and non-violence,” Digvijaya Singh tweeted.
Chouhan told reporters that the party has made a strategy to ensure Sadhvi Pragya’s victory from Bhopal.
After joining the party, Sadhvi Pragya said: “I have formally joined the BJP; I will contest the elections and will win. We will fight against those who are conspiring against the nation. We will work together against those people to save our nation.”
She has also met Chouhan and other senior BJP leaders at the party office on Wednesday.
Bhopal’s sitting BJP MP Alok Sanjar welcomed the decision, saying the party members would support Sadhvi and work hard to ensure victory for her in the polls.
Sadhvi Pragya is expected to polarise the Hindu votes besides splitting the Rajput votes in the Bhopal constituency which has nearly 18 lakh voters, including around 4.5 lakh Muslims.
The BJP has been holding this seat since 1989. The Congress had last won the seat in 1984 when K.N. Pradhan defeated Laxminarayan Sharma of the BJP by over 1 lakh votes.