A day after the BJP fielded Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya from the Bhopal constituency of Madhya Pradesh against Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh, former Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that 'the party is proving its Hindutva ideology by inducting her'.
While interacting to media after casting his vote on Thursday morning, Shinde said:
"BJP has given a push to its Hindutva ideology by fielding Sadhvi Pragya. Remember she is the same Sadhvi, she has not changed, She is the old Sadhvi Pragya."
On Wednesday, Sadhvi Pragya joined the BJP and the party had announced that she will contest from Bhopal, a seat that has been a stronghold of the party.
Talking to media on Wednesday, Sadhvi Pragya had said:
"Restoring respect to Hindutva will be my agenda. I will also expose the misuse of law by the then Congress government and the insult of women within the party. I have been given a clean chit. All the conspiracies against me have failed. I have a clean chit. The conspiracy against me has been exposed. We will fight to restore dignity. We will work together, win together and keep the country safe and developed."
Earlier she had also named Shinde and Digvijaya Singh while talking to media persons outside the special NIA court after charges were framed against her and others in the Malegaon blasts case:
"The people who have done illegal things will pay for it. Shinde, Digvijay and Chidambaram will pay for their sins," she had said also naming Chidambaram who had also been Home Minister under the UPA and is credited with coining the infamous term 'Saffron terror'.
Sadhvi Pragya was arrested for conspiring in the Malegaon Blast of 2008 that killed 6 people and had left several injured. Under the UPA government, she was arrested under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), following which the then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and other veterans of Congress had coined the term ' Hindu terror'. Shinde had repeated the claim as late as in 2013, as accused the BJP and RSS of "promoting Hindu terror through their training camps". While he later apologised for the 'Hindu terror' remark, later in the same year, he communalised probes into terror cases by issuing a statement whipping up sentiment for the minority communities feeling victimised.
On Wednesday, former CM of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh also gave his reaction on his contest against Sadhvi Pragya. Taking to Twitter he posted a video saying:
"I welcome Sadhvi Pragya ji in Bhopal. I hope that she will like the calm, posh and civilized environment of this city. I will pray to Ma Narmada for her and seek blessings so that we all may walk on the path of truth, non-violence and duty."