Minutes after being nominated as the BJP's Bhopal candidate, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur lashed out at her Congress rival Digvijay Singh, saying he "sowed the seeds" of defamation of "Sanatan Dharma". Thakur, who is facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, also defended herself saying she got a clean cheat, and accused the then Congress regime of torturing her.
"He (Digvijay Singh) has sown the seeds of defamation of our Sanatam Dharma (Hinduism) and the saffron. He termed the saffron and Hindutva as terrorism," Thakur alleged. "I will ensure that the saffron gets its due respect," she told reporters after being declared as the BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. "Dharma will triumph over Adharma," she added. Referring to her incarceration in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Thakur alleged that "They (the then Congress government) misused the law, disrespected a woman, and tortured me unlawfully".
Thakur was granted bail in the Malegaon case in 2017. "I am a sanyasin (ascetic). I will bring before the world how they tortured me," said Thakur, who joined the BJP formally earlier in the day. "I will ensure that the country remains secure, and those who are talking against the nation should now beware," she said. As to the Malegaon blast case, Thakur said she had got a "clean chit" in the case, and all the conspiracies against her had failed.
To a question, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was also present, denied the suggestion that the BJP announced its candidate late. Thakur was a "capable" candidate, he said. Digvijay Singh took to Twitter to welcome Thakur to the electoral fray. "I welcome Sadhvi Pragyaji in Bhopal and hope that the picturesque city's peaceful, educated and dignified environ would attract you," he said. "I pray to Maa (goddess) Narmada for Sadhviji and seek blessing from Narmadaji so that we all walk the path of truth, non-violence and religion. Narmada Har (glory to the Narmada)," he further tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies.)