BJP Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday has endorsed the nomination of her fellow Lok Sabha MP Pragya Singh Thakur in the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Defence. Meenakshi Lekhi stated to ANI, "You cannot call anyone a culprit on the basis of an accusation. Congress had tortured her and levelled allegations against her. UAPA charges were imposed on her. To prevent all this from happening in the future, her presence in the committee is necessary." The committee will be chaired by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Thakur, who is a prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case faces trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). On December 27, 2017, a special NIA court had dropped stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act charges against Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya, Sameer Kulkarni and other accused in the blast case. In April 2017, the Bombay High Court approved bail for Thakur, who the ATS had said was among the prime conspirators of the blast. Six persons were killed and 101 were injured when an improvised explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off at Malegaon on September 29, 2008.
Sadhvi Pragya has contested the elections from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal constituency against Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh and won the BJP bastion. Along with her nomination, he campaign too was mired with controversy, primarily to do with remarks relating to martyred ATS chief Hemant Karkare and about Ayodhya. In spite of the EC's notices to explain her conduct following her statements, she made another controversy in June when she called Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a "Deshbhakt" (Patriot). She added that those who have termed Godse as a terrorist will get a reply from the people in the elections.