The traditional Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongholds of Bhopal and Indore are set to witness tough contests this time around. These constituencies haven’t returned a Congress MP since 1989 but that could change as a resurgent Congress seems determined to wrest the two prestigious seats from the BJP.
Bhopal has been receiving a lot of attention across the country after the BJP fielded Malegaon blast-accused Pragya Singh Thakur against Congress’ two-time Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. Thakur is still undergoing trial in the case and has terror charges slapped against her. While Digvijaya Singh has been touring the constituency and meeting with community leaders, Pragya Thakur has yet to commence her campaign. Singh has even come up with a vision document for Bhopal in quick time.
Meanwhile, Pragya Thakur has been making news for her controversial statements. Her claim that former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare got killed in the line of duty on account of her ‘curse’ attracted widespread derision. Although she withdrew her remarks on Karkare, the damage had been done. The controversial statements didn’t stop at that. An FIR has been filed against her over her comments regarding the Babri Masjid demolition; she had claimed that she was at the site with karsevaks when the Masjid was pulled down. Thakur has also invited the Election Commission’s ire.