Mumbai, 19 April 2019
By India Crime Web Team
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur joined BJP and entered in politics after a speculation over one month.
Let’s try to understand how this will impact the elections and future of country in the special bulleted points news story prepared by India Crime Web Team.
- Sadhvi Pragya will contest the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat announcement come forward on 18th April 2019.
- It is first instance of a national level political party given ticket to an accused of terrorism.
- With Pragya Singh’s views on the RSS and Hindutva, election in the Bhopal seat and remaining phases of Loksabha is likely to be fought on polarising issues.
- This will be nail biting contest between Congress leader Digvijay Singh and Terror accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh.
About Bhopal constituency
- Bhopal constituency has been a saffron bastion for nearly three decades.
- Bhopal is considered as a most safe BJP seat for last 15 years.
- Bhopal Lok Sabha seat has over 18 lakh voters. Muslim voter’s number is 4.5 lakh.
- Congress loosing Bhopal Lok Sabha seat since 1989.
- BJP never lost Bhopal Since 1989, which has sizeable Muslim population.
- 2018 MP Assembly elections, Congress won 3 of 8 seats in Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.
- 5 seats were won by BJP.
- Date of the polls is May 12, 2019.
- With the announcement of ticket to Pragya Singh, political dynamics at local level will be changed after 2018 assembly elections.
Who is Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur?
- Pragya Singh is a former ABVP activist.
- Pragya Thakur is an accused in the Malegaon blast case.
- Pragya Singh Thakur is facing trial in special NIA court in Mumbai.
- She is currently out on bail on the health grounds.
- Pragya Singh is a bitter critic of the ideological guide of the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) all these days.
- She had allegedly linked RSS to 2008 Mumbai terror attack carried out by Pakistani terrorists.
Why Pragya Singh Candidature?
- Pragya Singh wanted to settle the old scores with Digvijay Singh.
- Pragya Singh alleged that Digvijay Singh conspired to get her falsely implicated in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
- Sadhvi described Digvijay Singh as an “anti-Hindu leader who called ‘Hindus terrorists’.
Pragya Singh Candidature Drama Unfolded!
- Malegaon terror blast case Accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is BJP’s candidate from Bhopal Loksabha seat against senior leader Digvijay Singh.
- Pragya Singh reached at Madhya Pradesh BJP headquarters in Bhopal, on 17 April 2019 to join the BJP and decide the candidature of Loksabha seat from Bhopal.
- Her candidature was announced hours after she formally joined the BJP.
- Pragya Singh called the contest a “dharma yuddh” and accused Congress rivals of equating saffron with terror.
- It is learnt that BJP bigwigs promised her party ticket a day before her joining and announcement.
- Insider says that BJP top leadership turned to her after failing to persuade former Chief Ministers Uma Bharati and Shivraj Singh Chouhan to contest from Bhopal against Digvijay Singh.
- Uma Bharati and Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced publicly that they don’t want to contest the Loksabha elections.
- Uma Bharati issued a statement stating that she made her contribution in 2003, when she ousted the Digvijay Singh government by a three-fourth majority. And now this year she don’t want to contest the poll.
- Soon after BJP fielded Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh welcomed her candidature.
- Digvijay Singh took a dig at Pragya Thakur but avoided mentioning her association with the Malegaon Blast case.
- Digvijay Singh’s candidature was announced by the Congress more than three weeks ago before the Pragya Singh name announced.
- It is said that Digvijay Singh was not interested to contest the Bhopal seat but but accepted the challenge after Chief Minister Kamal Nath made a request.
- PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti slammed BJP for saying ‘there is no such thing as Hindu terror’. According to them all Muslims are terrorists. When it comes to saffron fanatics, terror has no religion.
- Ram Madhav, BJP National Secretary justified the move to issue ticket to Pragya Singh.
- Ram Madhav said that Pragya Singh is the “right challenger” for Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who is propagating dubious and mischievous idea of Hindu terror.
- Ram Madhav also said that decision to field Thakur was taken by party’s Madhya Pradesh unit.
- “Hindu terror” term was used by Congress leaders after Samjhauta Express explosion in 2007 and the Malegaon mosque blast in 2008.
- BJP chief Amit Shah said many innocent sadhus had been jailed in the Samjhauta Express blast case as the Congress sought to raise the bogey of Hindu terror.
Pragya Singh First Arrested In BJP Government
- The irony of Pragya Singh case is that she was first arrested in terror case by BJP government, not Congress regime.
- 23 September 2008 MP police arrested Pragya Singh and eight others for alleged involvement in the murder of RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi in Dewas district of MP.
- She might be BJP poster child of the hardliner Hindutva ideology, but fact remain same that she was arrested first for a terrorism-related crime by BJP lad state government in Madhya Pradesh.
- This time Shivraj Singh Chouhan was the chief minister of MP.
- Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan described Pragya Singh as a person who was born to keep the nation secure.
Case against Pragya Singh
- Around 9.35 pm on September 29, 2008, explosives hidden in an LML Freedom motorcycle went off opposite Shakil Goods Transport Company in Malegaon.
- Investigation led by Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare.
- Investigations area for the Malegaon blast case was linked to Pune, Nashik, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Surat and many other cities on India.
- Army officer LtCol Prasad Purohit was arrested in the case.
- A retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay also arrested for the charges of supporting blast accused.
- Roles of Hindutva outfit Abhinav Bharat, and self-proclaimed seer Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey also cropped up and he has been also arrested in the case by Maharashtra ATS.
- Investigation by ATS revealed alleged conspiracy to retaliate against Islamic jihadi attacks in India and termed Hindu or Saffron Terror.
- ATS named 14 accused including Shivnarayan Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu, Sameer Kulkarni Ajay alias Raja Rahirkar, Rakesh Dhawade, Jagdish Mhatre, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Pravin Takalki, Ramchandra Kalsangra, and Sandeep Dange.
- Hemant Karkare was killed by Lashkar-E-Taiba terrorists in Mumbai Terror Attacks on 8th November 2008.
- He was killed less than two months after ATS traced the motorcycle to Surat, and Pragya Singh as conspirator and main accused in the case.
- 20 January 2009, first chargesheet was filed against Pragya Thakur and other accuseds before the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai.
- December 2010, CBI arrested Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand, who confessed before magistrate that 2006 and 2008 Malegaon blasts were carried out by radical Hindu groups to take “revenge against jihadi terrorism”.
- Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand also claimed that plan to target Muslims was hatched by group led by former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi.
- Aseemanand also claimed in his statement that the same group is behind Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Dargah and Mecca Masjid blasts of 2007.
- Aseemanand retracted his statement after sometime in the court.
- After a long trial Aseemanand been acquitted of all charges.
- In early 2011, BJP lad Central government transferred Malegaon 2006, Malegaon 2008, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Dargah blast cases to NIA.
- 21 April 2011, supplementary chargesheet has been filed before Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai.
- Since 2010 NIA is investigating the Samjhauta blasts.
- 6 people were killed, over 100 injured in a blast.
- On 29 September 2008 an IED or bomb device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque at Malegaon, Maharashtra.
- Sadhvi Pragya Singh also claimed that allegations against her resulted from a conspiracy hatched by the Congress government at the Centre.
- She also accused torture by Anti-Terrorism Squad had broken her physically and mentally but her soul was intact.
- In 2017 special NIA court dropped Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) charges against Pragya Thakur and other accuseds in Malegaon blast case.
- All Accused including Pragya still faces trial under other criminal provisions.
- Candidature of Pragya has significance as BJP accused opposition party of coining the “Hindu terror” phrase and slapping “false” terror cases on Hindutva activists in the UPA regime.
- June 28, 2016 NIA court rejected her Pragya Singh bail plea again and said that prima facie, Pragya Singh cannot avoid her connection with the motorcycle being the registered owner of the same.
- NIA court also said that NIA had done no investigation against Pragya Singh apart from re-recording witness statements.
- 25th April 2017 Bombay High Court relyed on four witness statements recorded by the NIA and granted bail to Pragya Singh.
- High Court made clear that observations were only to decide the bail plea.
- Pragya Singh also relied on these statements while seeking discharge from the case before the special court.
- NIA special court rejected bail plea on 7th December 2017 observing prima facie vehicle used in the blast belonged to Pragya Singh and and her name was found in the RTO records.
- NIA special court said, “Accused. no. 1 (Thakur) is the registered owner of the said motorcycle till today… it is for the accused to show that her motorcycle is still in existence and in use by somebody.”
What NIA did with Malegaon Blast case?
- 13 April 2011 NIA took over the Malegaon blast case on the directions of Home Ministry.
- NIA filed chargesheet in 2016.
- This chargesheet cleared Pragya Singh Thakur but prosecuted Col Purohit.
- This chargesheet also controlled the evidence against Col. Purohit and made them weak.
- NIA dropped charges under MCOCA against all accused.
- NIA described Karkare’s investigation as exaggerated or fudged.
- NIA’s special public prosecutor Rohini Salian alleged that the agency was pressuring her to go slow before the NIA chargesheet was filed.
- NIA chargesheet says that the bike was in Pragya Singh’s name but was being used by Ramsingh Kalsangra for 2 years before the blast took place.
- NIA claimed that Kalsangra also paid for its repairs and maintenance.
- NIA said that not a single statement was recorded before magistrate (under Section 164 CrPC), which claims that Pragya Singh is part of conspiracy meetings.
- NIA also claimed that all witness statements had been recorded under MCOCA before a police officer.
- NIA dropped MCOCA and with this act of agency, these statements had lost evidentiary value.
- NIA practically rejected the statement or evidence presented by Bhadana, with a new statement during re-examination and claimed that his statement had been made under pressure.
- Another witness RP Singh also made the same claim and accuses the ATS for taking statement under pressure.
- With all these statements and twists, NIA cleared Pragya Thakur.
- NIA recorded all new statements under Section 164 CrPC before a magistrate to strengthen their case.
- After NIA filed the chargesheet, Pragya Singh granted bail by NIA special court.
- NIA special court did not accept Thakur’s discharge from the case.
- NIA special court ordered in December 2017 that both Col Prasad Purohit and Pragya Singh will face trial under the UAPA.
- In October 2018, the court framed charges against Pragya Singh and 6 other accused under Sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA.
- Charges were also framed under the IPC for murder, criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity between communities.
Evidence against Pragya Singh in Malegaon Blast Case
- The key evidence against Pragya Singh in the ATS chargesheet is bike owned by her.
- A recorded conversation between Major Ramesh Upadhyay and Lt Col Purohit, (intercepted by investigators before she was arrested) in which they are talking about Pragya Singh’s alleged role in the Malegaon blast.
- Both accused also talked about law catching up with Pragya Singh.
- Both accused said that the “cat is out of the bag”.
- They also refer to Pragya Singh repeatedly as “Singh Saheb”, according to the chargesheet.
- Statement of RSS member Yashpal Bhadana is also important evidence against Pragya Thakur.
- He claimed that he was part of two meetings in Bhopal on April 11, 2008 in which several of alleged conspirators present, including Pragya Singh.
- Yashpal Bhadana said in the statement that in the first meeting, Col Purohit repeated the issue of waging a guerrilla war against jihadis that he had first mentioned at a meeting in Faridabad on January 26.
- Yashpal Bhadana claimed that in the second meeting, Col Purohit said that we must do something quickly to take revenge against Muslims.
- His statement also read, “In Maharashtra’s Malegaon the population of Muslims is very high. If we explode bombs there then we can avenge the atrocities against Hindus. On this, Sadhvi Pragya Singh said that she would arrange for men for the work.”
Pragya Singh’s Alleged Roles In The Cases
Malegaon Blast Cases
- 24 October 2008 Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested by ATS.
- After her arrest investigators opened the alleged activities of Hindutva extremists.
- Pragya Singh’s name figured multiple times in a larger conspiracy of “revenge terror activities” or “saffron terror activities”.
- Pragya Thakur was chargesheeted in only Malegaon 2008 case because her motorcycle was used in the blast.
- According to the chargesheet Pragya Singh is part of most meetings of radical activists from 2006 onward.
- Chargesheet says that plans to target Muslim-majority areas were discussed in these meetings.
- Meetings about Malegaon 2008 attack took place from January 2008 in Faridabad, Bhopal, Kolkata, Jabalpur, Indore and Nashik.
- Chargesheet alleged that a meeting was held in Bhopal on 11 April 2008, in which Pragya Singh took charge of finding suitable men to execute the attack/s.
- The chargesheet says that after some time Pragya Singh zeroed in to Sunil Joshi, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange.
- According to chargesheet Pragya Singh was close to Joshi and Kalsangra.
- As per chargesheet, she allowed to use her motorcycle to plant the bomb.
- It is also mentioned in the chargesheet that Kalsangra had already been using the bike at the time.
Samjhauta Train Blast
- 68 people, mostly Pakistan national, charred to death in blasts in two coaches of the Samjhauta Express near Panipat on February 18, 2007.
- Samjhauta chargesheet filed by NIA says that Pragya Singh had come to know Aseemanand back in 2003.
- In a discussions with Pragya Singh and Sunil Joshi, monk Aseemanand expressed anger at terror attacks on temples.
- Chargesheet claims that over the time, they “developed (a desire for) vengeance not only against the misguided jihadi terrorists but against the entire Muslim community.
Ajmer Dargah Blast Case
- Pragya Singh’s name cropped up in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. She was never charged in the case by ATS or NIA.
- In April 2017, NIA filed closure report against Pragya Singh, RSS leader Indresh Kumar and two other accused in the special court in Rajasthan.
- Rajasthan ATS said that Pragya Singh and Indresh were part of a meeting on 31st October 2005, along with some more accused.
- In this case Hindutva extremism two RSS pracharaks, Devender Gupta and Bhavesh Patel, were convicted.
- Devender Gupta and Bhavesh Patel were alleged to be close to Sunil Joshi and Pragya Singh.
- Rajasthan ATS said a secret meeting on terror conspiracies was held on 31 October 2005.
- Pragya Thakur and Sunil Joshi with some others attended this meeting.
- Other accused in the case Aseemanand, Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangra, Joshi, Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel, others.
- This is only alleged Hindutva terror case in which NIA secured conviction till date in the country.
- NIA filed a closure report against Pragya Singh and few other accused.
Sunil Joshi Murder Case
- Pragya Singh was also made an accused of conspiracy to kill Sunil Joshi.
- Sunil Joshi was killed in December 2007 as alleged by agencies.
- In 2014, NIA filed chargesheet against Pragya Singh and other accused.
- The chargesheet claimed that in early 2006, relations between Sunil Joshi and Pragya Singh gone bad.
- Chargesheet claims that “licentious advances” by Joshi angered other associates so much that they killed him.
- This case was transferred to a Dewas court and in February 2017 all the accused were acquitted from all charges.
- Other accused of the case was Raj Singh, Vasudev Parmar, Anandraj Kataria and others.
- Sunil Joshi’s name figured in Mecca Masjid, Samjhauta and Malegaon blast cases.
- 29 December 2007 Sunil Joshi was killed on in Dewas.
- First Dewas police only presented the fact that Sunil Joshi was shot dead when walking back to his hideout at Chuna Khadan locality of Dewas.
- 23 October 2008 Dewas police arrested Pragya Singh and others in connection with the murder.
- 25 March 2009 police closed the case on the order of Dewas SP.
- Pragya Singh and all accused was released.
- Sunil Joshi Was chargesheeted by NIA in connection with 2007 Samjhauta Express train blast case.
- 9 July 2010 MP police reopened Sunil Joshi murder case.
- MP Police filed chargesheet alleging Pragya Singh after she was arrested in the Malegaon blasts case.
- Four more accused were chargesheeted for killing Sunil Joshi.
- Police claimed that Pragya Singh and other accused killed Sunil Joshi fearing he might expose the all cases conspiracy from Samjhauta to Ajmer blasts.
- 26 February 2011 police issued arrest warrant against Pragya Singh on the basis of the chargesheet.
- Pragya Singh was already in the jail for her alleged involvement in the Malegaon bomb blast which claimed six lives and left 100 people injured.
- MP police arrested other accused in the case from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh.
- In 2011 Indore high court transferred the case to NIA.
- MP police chargesheet of Sunil Joshi murder case is 432 page long.
- The chargesheet has been filed before judicial magistrate Padmesh Shah of Dewas court.
- Police said in the chargesheet that RSS activist Sunil Joshi was killed by fellow Hindu hardliners, including Pragya Singh for his “high-handedness and the fear that his arrest would reveal involvement of all accuesed in the blaset cases in some parts of the country.
- Chargesheet state that Sadhvi was peeved with Joshi as he had personally misbehaved with her and ‘his overall behaviour was something not expected by a woman.
- chargesheet contains statements of 124 witnesses.
- Chargesheet says against Pragya Singh that Anand Raj Kataria, Harshad Solanki, Vasudev Parmar and Ramchandra Patel, Mehul and Rakesh was filed under various sections of the IPC including 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) besides the Arms Act.
- According to chargesheet another reason for killing of Sunil Joshi was the “ill-treatment” he meted out to Harshad, Mehul, Rakesh and Ustad. These accused are involved in Best Bakery case. In the Best bakery fire case of 1st March 2002 in which 14 people were burnt alive in Vadodara.
- This was happened at the peak of post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat.
- Chargesheet says that all four accused were hiding with Sunil Joshi in Dewas and frequently abused by him.
- Chargesheet claims that Pragya Singh was in Indore and her mobile call records show that she was in constant touch with the accused on the day of Sunil Joshi killed.
- After Sunil Joshi’s murder, Pragya Singh appeared as a main suspect when relatives of deceased claimed that she had come to their house on the day of murder.
- Relatives of Sunil Joshi also claimed that Pragya Singh also taken away his suitcase.
- It is also claimed by the relatives that Pragya Singh was also seen in the hospital where Joshi’s body was brought.
- 19 August 2014 the case was transferred to Dewas district court.
- In September 2015 Dewas court framed charges against eight people, including Pragya Singh.
- 01 February 2017 Dewas additional district Judge Rajeev Kumar Aaptee acquitted all accused in the Joshi murder case.
What Happened After Pragya Singh Candidature
Bail and Poll Contest Challanged In NIA Court
- 18th April 2019 Malegaon blast victim’s father filed petition in the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court and appealed that Pragya Singh is out on bail on health grounds and should be asked to attend the court proceedings in Mumbai.
- He also urged the court to restrict her from contesting the Lok Sabha election.
- Petition is filed by Nisar Sayeed, who lost his son in the 2008 Malegaon blast.
- Pragya Singh spent nine years in the jail and out on bail since 2017 on health grounds.
- Petition questioned candidature of Pragya Singh and said that she is not attending court proceedings on the “pretext of being unwell and that she is a breast cancer patient”. On the other hand, she is participating in various programmes and throwing “objectionable and instigating speeches” after release from jail on bail.
- Nisar Sayeed alleged that if Sadhvi Pragya Thakur was healthy enough to fight elections in the crippling summer heat, then she has misled the court.
- Nisar Sayeed also said in his application that a petition seeking cancellation of her bail is pending before the Supreme Court.
- Special judge VS Padalkar has sought replies from NIA and Pragya Singh.
- Matter will be heard on 22 April 2019.
Debar terror accused Pragya Singh from contesting elections – Tehseen Poonawalla
- Political activist Tehseen Poonawalla sent a request to Election Commission to debar Malegaon terror blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting elections.
- Tehseen Poonawalla wrote in his letter to Election Commission that I would humbly request the Election Commission of India to take further necessary steps to uphold the Model Code of Conduct 2019 and take appropriate action against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and debar her from contesting elections. A candidate accused with terror links must not be permitted to contest elections.
- Tehseen Poonawala further wrote in the letter that BJP is fielding a terror accused as a candidate in Bhopal. Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur has spent nine years in jail and now is out on bail since 2017 on health grounds. Her medical reports which were submitted in Court exhibited that she is suffering from breast cancer and is infirm, that she cannot walk without support, nonetheless she is now contesting elections, this is clearly indicated misrepresentation and forged ground of her bail.
Hemant Karkare was killed because I had cursed him: Sadhvi Pragya Thakur
- Terror accused and BJP candidate Pragya Singh said on 19th April 2019 that former Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare was killed because she had cursed (Shrap) him.
- It is a known fact that IPS ATS Maharshtra Chief Hemant Karkare had died fighting terrorists during 26/11 Mumbai attack along with senior police officials Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, were killed outside Cama Hospital in south Mumbai on 26th November 2008.
I Was Tortured Under Custody By ATS: Sadhvi Pragya Thakur
- Pragya Singh alleged in a public meeting on 18th April 2019 in Bhopal that she was mercilessly beaten from day one by her interrogators of ATS Maharashtra. They used belt with a wooden handle that made her nervous system go numb.
- Pragya Singh also claimed that she was not sharing her ordeal to gain sympathy but to ensure that no one is made to undergo such an experience in future.
- Pragya Singh also alleged that male officials tortured her and beat her day and night.
- Pragya Singh also accuses the ATS Maharshtra officials that they wanted her to confess that she had carried out the blast and killed Muslims.
- Pragya Singh also pointed out that her campaign would focus on national security and term saffron terror.
- Pragya Singh also alleged that Congress carefully devised the phrase ‘saffron terror’ as they wanted an unchallenged rule by targeting and eliminating “sanyasis, the symbol of sacrifice in the Tricolour and the spirit of sacrifice from the country”.
- Pragya Singh claimed that she is innocent and NIA constituted by ‘them’ after 26/11 has given me a clean chit. Before jailed in the Malegaon case for the first time, there are not single criminal cases filed against her.
Who Said What!
- I am ready for a ‘dharma-yuddh’… I am ready to take on Digvijay Singh if ‘sanghatan’ (organisation) asks me to do so. I will contest the election from Bhopal and win. Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is with me. – Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur said in March 2019
- Mei bhagwa ko samman dila ke rahungi (I will ensure saffron’s dignity is restored), all conspiracies against me have failed. They (Opposition) insulted the Hindu dharma, the Sanatan dharma and Hindutva. They insulted the bhagwa (saffron flag). It will be one of our major issues in the coming elections. Dharma ki jai hogi, adharm ka nash hoga (The righteous will win and the sinners will be destroyed). I am grateful to Shivraj ji and other party leaders for including me in the BJP. I may not have any political experience but I will speak what has been done in the last 15 years. Whatever we will say, we will do it. – Pragya Singh, after getting BJP ticket
- They tried to kill me but I did not die. It was god’s gift. They subjected me to inhuman torture, both physical and mental. They violated the Constitution and misused the law by keeping me in illegal detention. They (Congress and UPA) are still able to carry on with their politics because there was no opportunity to awaken the society. Because I am living proof of their black deeds, they are getting rattled. They tried to kill me. They did not let me come out on bail. I got cancer and my spinal cord was damaged. I am surviving only because of my strong spirit and some scientific experiments. The party. I am nobody. I have dedicated myself to the nation. Development can take place only when the country, its borders and religion are safe.I am even ready to die. I won’t be bothered if I die after society is awake. – Pragya Singh in a public meeting in Bhopla on 18th April 2019
- I called Hemant Karkare and asked him to let me go if there is no evidence (against me). He (Karkare) said that he will bring evidence but will not leave me. I told him — You will be ruined. – Pragya Singh in a video released by ANI
- The country’s temper is not communal. People here are not fundamentalists or religious extremists. But they can’t speak their mind openly because they will be accused of being traitors. – Digvijay Singh, addressing a gathering of artists and writers at Bhopal Congress office on 18th April 2019
- I pray to Maa (goddess) Narmada for Sadhviji and seek blessing from Narmadaji, (holy river) so that we all walk the path of truth, non-violence and religion. Narmada Har (glory be to the Narmada). I welcome Sadhvi Pragyaji in Bhopal and hope that the picturesque city’s peaceful, educated and dignified environment would attract you. – Digvijay Singh, former Chief Minister, Madhy Pradesh, Congress candidate from Bhopal Loksabha Seat
- Can Rahul baba protect India? He and his party have tried to defame the country across the world by raising the bogey of Hindu terror. The court not only acquitted all the accused including Swami Aseemananda in the case but also made it clear that the saffron terror tag was “imaginary,”. In order to “punish” the Congress for raising Hindu terror bogey, BJP given ticket to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, against Digvijay Singh, whose brainchild is the saffron terror label. – Amit Shah, BJP president, while ddressing election meetings in Odisha’s Dhenkanal and Baramba.
- For last 10 years, I am hoping and praying for justice for my son who died in my arms. News about Sadhvi Pragya Singh coanditaure is a huge setback for all families of victims of terror attacks. I never imagined that the pursuit of justice could be this difficult. I will continue my struggle for justice. – Nisar Bilal, who lost teenage son to Malegaon blasts in 2008
- The pain of losing loved one can never go. Honestly I do not keep a track of these things. I have a family to look after. – Liyaqat Shaikh (55), lost 10 year daughter Shagufta Parveen in blast.
- She is probably right challenger for a person like Digvijay Singh who is largely responsible for propagating dubious and mischievous idea of Hindu terror in this country. He needed a proper challenger. No such thing (Saffron Terror) existed or exists now. Some people were wrongfully put in jail. Nobody can question us on the constitutional validity of putting up a candidate who has just allegations against her. – Ram Madhav, BJP National Secretary
- Imagine the anger if I fielded a terror accused. Channels would have gone berserk by now trending a mehboobaterrorist hashtag! According to these guys terror has no religion when it comes to saffron fanatics but otherwise all Muslims are terrorists. Guilty until proven innocent (sic). – Mehbooba Mufti, tweeted targeting BJP
- We are getting to hear new things from the BJP every time. First, they tried to fight elections on Balakot and Pulwama (attacks). Then, they tried speaking about development and when people did not digest it, they tried the religion card. They know that they will not get votes with ‘mandir-masjid’ (Ayodhya issue), so they gave the mandate from Bhopal to a person who is an accused in a terror case and is out on bail citing poor health. I hope the court which gave her bail cancels it as if she is fit enough to contest (election), she is fit to be in jail. – Omar Abdullah, Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and NC vice-president, after casting his vote on 18 April 2019
- We are contesting this election in Bhopal as a fight against the Congress conspiracy to insult Hindu religion by linking it to terrorism. Digvijay Singh was the face of this conspiracy. – GVL Narasimha Rao, BJP spokesperson
- PM Modi is king of lies. BJP manifesto says zero tolerance on terrorism, but they go ahead and nominate a terror accused. A terror accused has been rehabilitated by BJP. PM of India, you are the king of liars, you don’t want to fight terrorism. If you wanted to fight terrorism, if you had class and sincerity, then you would not have made a person with terrorism charges a candidate. – Asaduddin Owaisi, chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
- A terror accused [Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur] has been rehabilitated by the BJP. The brazenness must be astounding to outsiders; but we are discussing it like it is a routine political strategy. This is the BJP’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on terrorism. – Asaduddin Owaisi, on Twitter
- I have filed a complaint with the #ElectionCommission to not allow #SadhviPragyaSinghThakur ji from contesting the #LokSabhaElections2019 as she is a terror accused. Hardik Patel a riot accused was also prevented by the EC. I state: I am not a member of any political party.— Tehseen Poonawalla on (@tehseenp) April 18, 2019
- What else can you expect from the BJP? BJP… unka kaam hi kya hain. – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress Leader
- As a citizen of India it is her right to fight elections. But in her bail petition her lawyers had claimed that she is infirm and can’t even walk with support. This was one of the reasons for the bail being granted. She does not even attend court hearings now citing her ill health. But her health is now permitting her to campaign. She is clearly misguiding the court. – Shaheed Nadeem, advocate of Jamiat Ulama-E-Hind
- While announcing her candidature, former CM Chouhan forgot that the person is accused of the 2008 Malegaon blast and is out on bail, so how could she be the protector of the nation? Shivraj should not forget that his own police had arrested her twice for her alleged involvement in Sunil Joshi’s murder in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Shivraj should explain how a terrorist and murder accused can protect and strengthen the nation? – Pankaj Chaturvedi, Congress spokesperson
- At one hand, BJP speaks about fighting terrorism. On the other hand it has granted a ticket to a person, against whom there ware overwhelming evidence of being involved in a terror case. By granting her a ticket, the BJP has proved its duplicity and how much it values the loved ones of Muslims killed in terror attacks. – Aleem Faizee, social activist
- We welcome the nomination of the Sadhvi as a BJP candidate. Let people judge her. – Sanjay Raut, Sena Parliamentary party leader
- I will not make any comment on this matter. – Ashish Patel, President, Apna Dal (S)
- It’s their prerogative, why should we comment? – Naresh Gujral. Shiromani Akali Dal leader
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