Godwoman Pragya Singh Thakur, also known as Sadhvi Pragya, has joined the Bharatiya Janta Party, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. She is likely to contest the elections from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal constituency, where the Congress has fielded its high profile candidate Digvijay Singh. Thakur is a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts and it is likely that her candidature would invite harsh criticism from the opposition. Charged for terror activities, she is yet to be freed by the special National Investigation Agency court, formed to investigate the blast.
In the blast that killed six people and left around a thousand injured, a total number of seven people including Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit and Thakur were held for unlawful activities. She is presently out on bail. "If the party picks Bharti, we would all follow the order. All workers, including me, would take a pledge to make her victorious," sitting MP Alok Sanjar said.
“When known faces like Narendra Singh Tomar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharti fled away from the contest, the BJP was forced to import a candidate against Digvijaya Singh,” Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said, after learning that Thakur was going to contend against Singh.
The seat was reportedly also offered to a number of heavyweights including Uma Bharti, who declined it. However, she was in Bhopal on Wednesday to hold meetings with party members. "Jab Rashtra Surakshit Hoga, Hum Sab Surakhsit Honge. Tab hi hum apna kaam kar payenge (When the nation would be safe, we all would be safe and would be able to discharge our duties). Whoever is working against the rashtra (nation), we all would fight against them and would defeat them,” she was quoted saying.