To punish Congress, BJP fielded Sadhvi Pragya: Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Wednesday slammed the Congress and said that Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was picked up in order to “punish” the grand old party, for raising the Hindu terror bogey.

The 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya will contest against senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh from Bhopal parliamentary constituency.

Referring to Sadhvi Pragya, Shah said, “After the Samjhauta Express blast, the Congress said Hindu terrorists were behind it. The sadhus were put in jail. Now, the BJP decided that Sadhvi should contest from Bhopal against Digvijaya Singh, the person who coined the term saffron terror.”

Sadhvi Pragya, a Hindu hardliner had joined the BJP on Tuesday.

Earlier addressing a rally at Dhenkanal, Shah said the BJP would end the “babu raj” in Odisha if it came to power in the state.

“Democracy has collapsed in Odisha. Under (Chief Minister) Naveen Babu, MPs and MLAs stand as servants, while the babus (bureaucrats) run the state,” Shah said at an election rally in Dhenkanal. “Bring the BJP government in the state if you want to end this babu raj,” he said.

Thakur is among the seven accused facing trial in the Malegaon blast case, wherein six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008.

Apart from Sadhvi Pragya, the party has announced its candidates from three other seats — KP Singh from Guna, Raj Bahadur Singh from Sagar, and Ramakant Bhargav from Vidisha, the constituency represented by outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Polling in Madhya Pradesh will be held in the last four phases of elections and counting of votes will take place on May 23.

With agencies inputs