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Lok Sabha elections 2019: In Bhopal, it is Digvijaya Singh vs BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya Singh

Thakur, who was named in the Malegaon blast case, is the third of five children—the family has four sisters and a brother--and joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the early nineties.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 17, 2019 17:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha elections,general elections 2019
Lok Sabha elections 2019: Pragya Thakur joins BJP, may contest against Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal(ANI/Twitter)

Hours after she joined the BJP, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who was named as an accused in the Malegaon blasts, was chosen as the party’s candidate against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal.

“I have formally joined BJP, I will contest elections and will win also,” she said in Bhopal, reported news agency ANI. Thakur is the third of five children—the family has four sisters and a brother--and joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the early nineties.

Thakur moved to Madhya Pradesh as her father was transferred from Jalaun district in Uttar Pradesh to Lahar in Bhind district of the central state in the seventies as an agriculture department employee. Her father again shifted to Surat around 2000 when Pragya was setting out for a post-graduation in history.

Watch: Lok Sabha elections 2019: Sadhvi Pragya joins BJP, may contest from Bhopal

She rose to the post of the state organising secretary of ABVP in 1996 and lived in Ujjain for a year before quitting the organisation in 1997. Pragya was associated with many organisations such as Vande Mataram Jan Kalyan Samiti and Rashtrawadi Sena.

In 2005, she led a massive religious procession called ‘Chunari Yatra’ in Dewas, and stayed in Jabalpur for a while where she owns a house in the Gorakhpur locality.

Pragya announced she had become a sadhvi in 2007 at the Allahabad Kumbh and was ordained by the popular seer Swami Avadheshanand Giri, the head of the powerful Juna Akhada.

Pragya was arrested in a case involving a bomb blast in Maharashtra’s Malegaon town on September 29, 2008, that killed six people and injured 101 others.

She was arrested because the LML Freedom motorcycle used in the blast was registered in her name.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 13:35 IST