Is Sadhvi Pragya, BJP’s answer to Digvijaya in Bhopal?
New Delhi, Apr 09: Who will fight Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal. Singh was nominated to fight the Bhopal seat in the 8th list of candidates it had announced for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand is yet to finalise its candidate for Bhopal, which it considers as a safe seat. The party has won the elections from here since 1989. While at first, it was stated that former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan may contest from Bhopal, now reports have emerged that the BJP is considering Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.
A report in the Times of India states that Sadhvi Pragya is seen as a deep saffron figure. She was an accused in the Malegaon 2008 blasts case, but was released last year after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that it had no prosecutable evidence against her.
If Sadhvi is indeed fielded Bhopal can witness a highly polarised clash. The report while quoting sources said that the party is yet to take a final call on the matter. There are concerns about her Hindutva rhetoric and it could give its opponents the fodder to accuse the party of encouraging Hindu fringe elements, the report also stated.
The BJP has been looking to field a political heavyweight against Singh. The BJP is said to have considered Chouhan to take on Singh, but the former was not keen on the contest. Chouhan has win from Vidisha five times in a row since 1991 to 2004. He told the party that he wanted to remain in the state assembly.
In the 2014 elections, Alok Sanjar of the BJP had won Bhopal by a margin of 3.70 lakh votes. Prior to that the seat was represented twice by Kailash Joshi of the BJP.
The BJP would chose its candidate wisely as it is also aware that this constituency has 3.5 lakh Muslim voters. Moreover in the recently concluded assembly polls, the Congress won three of the seven seats in Bhopal.