Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the Hindutva leader facing trial in 2008 Malegaon blast case, formally joined the BJP on Wednesday. Sadhvi Pragya, who joined BJP today, will contest against former MP Chief minister and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal. Before announcing her decision to join the BJP, Sadhvi Pragya met senior BJP leaders including Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Ramlal, and Prabhat Jha at party's office in Bhopal. Talking to media, Sadhvi Pragya said that the election in Bhopal will be fought on the issue of nationalism and it is the beginning of 'Dharam Yudh'.
According to reports, Sadhvi Pragya has reached BJP office in Bhopal to meet party leaders Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Ramlal, and Prabhat Jha. Last month, Singh had said that she is ready to take on Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat if she is given a ticket by "organisation". Sadhvi was an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts before being released last year after NIA said it had no prosecutable evidence against her.
Thakur was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the 2008 bomb blasts case. However, a special NIA court in December 2018 refused to discharge her from the case. Though the court dropped provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her, Thakur is being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court last year.
The 29 Lok Sabha constituencies of Madhya Pradesh will go to polls in four phases on April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won 27 seats in the state, with the Congress managing to retain only Chhindwara and Guna.