The BJP’s decision to field Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, one of the prime accused in the Malegaon blast that killed six people and left a 100 injured in 2008, from the Bhopal parliamentary constituency, shows the party’s desperation to come back to power in New Delhi, the NDTV said in an article on Thursday.
“Crossing the red line and sending a terror accused to parliament as a law-maker is irrelevant to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, who are desperate to win 2019,” it said.
With her nomination, the BJP has given a clinical burial to the plank of “Sab ka saath, Sab ka vikas” (development for everyone) to solely push hardline Hindutva and polarise voters for the remaining six phases of voting (including Thursday), the article said.
Pragya will take on Digvijay Singh of the Congress, who has been extremely critical of the Hindutva brand of terrorism and been quite vocal about her.
The suggestion to field Pragya, the article claimed, came from the RSS. “It was quickly embraced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, specially as the first round of voting in western Uttar Pradesh saw the anti-BJP Maha-Gatbandhan of Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Ajit Singh perform well”.
The message from Nagpur, the RSS headquarters, was that development and national security are not cutting it as selling points. Even the Balakot air strikes had failed to enthuse the committed BJP voter, so it was time to ratchet up Hindutva messaging as the Balakot bounce for Modi seemed to quickly fade.
“Pragya Thakur’s choice aims at corralling the committed BJP voter and trying to win back the disillusioned faithful. It will also ensure that the RSS, which is the real boots-on-the-ground advantage for the BJP, works on overdrive to secure a victory,” the article said.