Hindutva politics is back to centre stage

For the first time in the Indian political history, a person accused of a terror act is going to contest an election. The BJP has fielded Malegaon terror blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal against Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh. Facing trial for her alleged role in the blast that left six dead and 101 injured, Thakur is currently out on bail. She has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for conspiring and abetting a terror act, and also faces charges ranging from murder to criminal conspiracy. The BJP claims that she has been exonerated from terror charges, but the fact is that she still faces charge under the UAPA and is out on bail.
A Hindu hardliner, her candidature is set to further polarize the election. With reports of the BJP not doing well in the first round of elections, the party has resorted to hard-line Hindutva approach to woo the voters. It had tried the development and nationalism agenda, but they did not work out. Sadhvi Pragya herself has set the tone by declaring her contest against Singh a “dharma yudh,” and accused her Congress rival of equating saffron with terror. She was said to be battling cancer and received bail on medical ground. But that has not come in the way of her candidature. The BJP is showing utter disregard for the law by fielding a terror accused as a candidate. If other parties had done something similar, the saffron party and the media would have lampooned them. The victims of the Malegaon blast were mostly from the Muslim community. By giving her the ticket the saffron party is sending a very wrong message.