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Amid the fiery election campaigning during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an unrestrained interaction on an array of issues revolving around the political discourse.
On being questioned on the candidature of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal constituency, Devendra Fadnavis stated that she was given a ticket after NIA got a clean chit from NIA.
"Allegations were levelled on Sadhvi Pragya, right. NIA gave clean chit to her. Today she's has been given ticket after getting NIA's clean chit. I ask a cross-question to you. Allegations were against Rahul Gandhi ji as well. Rahul Gandhi ji is also out on a bail. He has not been given clean chit. Why is he fighting election? And here, in case, after getting clean chit from NIA, in fact, if you will look into the NIa's investigation then it is clearly being shown that it was an attempt to create a narrative. At that time, terrorism was on a rise in Maharashtra and in many places and by the medium of ATS and various other police departments people were being detained due to which minority community started feeling like their children are being held and that community was getting away from the Congress and NCP and that's why they created a narrative, they created a narrative of 'Hindu terror' and NIA has cleared the air that the entire matter of Sadhvi Pragya is a self-made case," the Maharastra CM said.
On being questioned on the comments made by Sadhvi Pragya against 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, and on the allegation that the 2019 election is being polarised, Devendra Fadnavis stated that the party does not accept the Sadhvi Pragya's statement
"The whole issue is that if anyone conspires to defame the Hindus of this country, if anyone tries to say that Hindus are only terrorists, if someone will prepare a narrative like this then why it shouldn't be answered? Are Hindus sitting at homes? Are Hindus on streets? Is there no respect for Hindus? Can anyone come and tell anything to them? And that's why it's an answer. Prime Minister has also said this clearly, that it's an answer if anyone will prepare a picture for saying Hindus are terrorists and will do such things under this, then surely answers will be given. And this is the answer and as far as Sadhvi is concerned, what she has said about Karkare ji, it's completely wrong, we are not going to believe it. Karkare is a martyr and the BJP also thinks the same," he added.
Further, responding to the question on whether he will open Sadhvi Pragya's ATS file, the Maharashtra chief minister stated that he will open the file if she files a written complaint., adding that he is 100 percent that Sadhvi Pragya has been given clean chit by NIA.
"I am 100% sure. NIA has given a clean chit. the matter is in court now. If Sadhvi Pragya will file a written complaint, this file will be opened. It will be opened on the basis of evidence. I am the Chief Minister, if someone complaints it is my duty to act upon it," he said.
BJP's candidate for Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya created massive controversy after she had insulted 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, claiming he had died because of her 'curse'.
"He asked me many questions regarding the incident. I said I don't know, God knows. And he replied that for knowing the answer, do I need to go and ask God? And I said, if needed, you should go and visit him. You will find it difficult to believe when I cursed him that 'you will be annihilated', and just over a month later (which is the period of mourning when a person dies), he was killed by terrorists, marking his end," Thakur has said.
She is all set to contest the election against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal constituency.
Thakur is among seven accused facing trial in Malegaon blast case, in which six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra's Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Polling in Madhya Pradesh will be held in the last four phases of elections, ending on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.