2008 Malegaon blasts-accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur will contest as a BJP candidate against former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a controversial figure known for incendiary comments and speeches, had been associated with the BJP-linked youth outfit Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and 'Durga Vahini' or women's wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). On September 29, 2008, two bombs fitted on a motorcycle exploded, killing seven people and injuring over 100 in Malegaon in Maharashtra, around 270 km from Mumbai. Sadhvi and Swami Aseemanand were framed in the case and later came out on bail in the case.
Though the court dropped provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her, she is being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Significantly, Digvijaya Singh was among the Congress leaders who were most vocal in condemning "saffron terror".
The BJP has never lost in Bhopal since 1989, though it has a sizeable Muslim population. Digvijaya Singh was asked by his party colleague, Chief Minister Kamal Nath, to contest from tough seats like Bhopal or Indore, where the Congress hasn't won in years. Challenge accepted, was Digvijaya Singh's response, and he was named for Bhopal. By fielding Sadhvi Pragya against a strong Congress candidate, the BJP is looking for polarization on communal basis.