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From Malegaon blast taint to Bhopal hustings: Sadhvi Pragya's journey

Saffron-clad Thakur, with short hair and sporting a rudraksh mala, became the face of right wing extremism after being arrested by the Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad in the 2008 Malegaon blast case

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

Sadhvi Pragya Singh
Sadhvi Pragya Singh | Source: Twitter

For Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the blast case and now BJP's candidate against Congress veteran Digvijay Singh from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, it has been a tumultuous journey.

Saffron-clad Thakur (48), with her trademark short hair and sporting a rudraksh mala, became the face of right wing extremism after being arrested by the Anti- Terrorism Squad in the 2008 blast case.

Currently she is out on bail.

On December 27, 2017, a special had dropped stringent Control of Organised Crime Act charges against Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya, and other accused in the blast case.

Six persons were killed and 101 were injured when an improvised strapped on a motorcycle went off at on September 29, 2008.

Born in district of Madhya Pradesh, Thakur has had a long association with the RSS.

A post-graduate in history, she worked with the RSS student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Durga Vahini, women's wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

In view of Singh's image as an RSS-basher and the city's 4.5 lakh Muslim voters (out of the total 18 lakh-plus voters), the BJP decided to field a against the Congress leader, party sources said.

In the last assembly in 2018, the Congress won three of the eight assembly segments in the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency. In the remaining five seats which the BJP won, there was a slide in the saffron party's victory margin.

"I am ready for a dharma-yuddh'," Thakur had told last month, when her name started doing rounds as a probable BJP candidate.

"I am ready to take on Digvijay Singh if 'sanghatan' (organisation) asks me to do so," she had said, calling the former an "anti-Hindu who called Hindus terrorists".

In April 2017, the approved bail for Thakur, who the ATS had said was among the prime conspirators of the blast.

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 18:20 IST