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‘Chose to contest as Digvijaya was picked’: Pragya Thakur

Pragya Thakur, who is out on bail in a terror case, has also been targeting Singh for allegedly coining the term “saffron terror”. Singh had later clarified that terrorism had no colour, and saffron symbolised valour, and had religious connotations.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 27, 2019 07:15 IST
digvijay singh,pragya thakur,BJP
Pragya Thakur was named the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s candidate for Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Lok Sabha seat last week.(PTI)

Pragya Singh Thakur has said she decided to contest the Lok Sabha election after Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was named the Congress’s candidate from Bhopal.

Thakur was named the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s candidate for Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Lok Sabha seat last week.

“When Digvijaya Singh’s name came up [as Congress contestant], then the media came to me and said, ‘Will you contest?’ I said yes, if such a person is contesting, I will too’.”

Thakur, who is out on bail in a terror case, has also been targeting Singh for allegedly coining the term “saffron terror”. Singh had later clarified that terrorism had no colour, and saffron symbolised valour, and had religious connotations.

Thakur has been accused in the 2008 serial blasts in Malegaon, Maharashtra, in which six people were killed and over 100 injured. She is out on bail.

Thakur was arrested twice, in 2008 and 2011, by MP police, for her alleged involvement in the death of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak Sunil Joshi, who was accused in terror incidents, including the 2007 blast on the Samjhauta Express, which runs between India and Pakistan.

Joshi was shot dead in December 2007. BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is now backing Thakur’s candidature, was the chief minister of the state at the time. The case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency in 2011, and the court acquitted all accused in this case six years later.

“It was the UPA [Congress-led United Progressive Alliance] government at the Centre in 2008 when this happened. Shivraj ji was in Madhya Pradesh. There was a clean chit. He is my guru-bhai, he has never tried to create hurdles to derail the course of law. Whenever such things happen, it is said that the court will do justice. We can work together since we are ideologically aligned. I have never opposed Shivrajji that it would make it hard for me to face him,” Thakur said.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 07:15 IST