Bhopal: Despite the clamour over her candidature, BJP’s Sadhvi Pragya Thakur may not be barred by the Election Commission (EC) from contesting Lok Sabha elections, said reports on Friday.
According to Zee News, a ban cannot be imposed under the current laws which state that any citizen above 25 years of age is eligible to contest polls unless convicted for any crime, which involves punishment for two or more years.
In his complaint to EC, political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla had sought a ban against Thakur contesting poll as she faces terror charges.
“I would humbly request the EC to take further necessary steps to uphold the Model Code of Conduct 2019 and take appropriate action against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and debar her from contesting elections,” he said Poonawalla in his letter to the poll panel, adding, “a candidate accused with terror links must not be permitted to contest elections.”
BJP has had to face flak over its choice of the candidate from Bhopal from all quarters. While PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti dreaded the prospect of fielding such a candidate from her and the backlash she would’ve had to face, NC leader Omar Abdullah had asked how Sadhvi, who was out on bail on health grounds, was fit enough to contest elections.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi attacked PM Modi over the issue and said, “PM of India you are the king of liars, you don’t want to fight terrorism. If you wanted to fight terrorism, if you had class and sincerity then you would not have made a person with terrorism charges a candidate.”
Sadhvi had joined BJP only this week and was named the party candidate from Bhopal to face veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
She is among the seven facing trial in 2008 Malegaon blast case which killed six people and injured a dozen others. A bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Sadhvi was in jail for nine years and was granted bail over health grounds. She faces charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On her part, while interacting with BJP workers and media in Bhopal, she broke down as she recalled the alleged torture while in custody.
“Police kept me in illegal custody for 13 days. Right from the first day, without asking me anything, they hit me with belts. It was not easy to handle the torture. The whole body gets swollen, gets numb,” she said.