[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pushing its aggressive Hindutva agenda, the BJP has decided to field Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh against Congress leader and former chief minister Digvijay Singh.
Pragya Thakur formally joined BJP today (Wednesday, April 17) after a meeting with senior BJP leaders Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Ramlal, and Prabhat Jha in Bhopal, according to news agency ANI.
Pragya, along with Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, came to represent what the Congress-led UPA government termed as ‘saffron terror’ after they were both charged in the Malegaon blasts. On September 29, 2008, two bombs fitted on a motorcycle exploded, killing seven people and injuring over 100 in Malegaon in Maharashtra, around 270 km from Mumbai. They are both out on bail in the case.
“We all will fight together with all those who are conspiring against the nation and defeat them,” said Pragya, alleging a conspiracy to frame her.
Pragya Thakur, a controversial figure known for incendiary comments and speeches, had been associated with the RSS-affiliated youth outfit Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and ‘Durga Vahini’ or women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Pragya Thakur is the third of five children – four sisters and a brother. She joined the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the early nineties.
She moved to Madhya Pradesh as her father was transferred from Jalaun district in Uttar Pradesh to Lahar in Bhind district of the central state in the seventies as an agriculture department employee. Her father again shifted to Surat around 2000 when Pragya was setting out for a post-graduation in history.
She rose to the post of the state organising secretary of ABVP in 1996 and lived in Ujjain for a year before quitting the organisation in 1997. Pragya was associated with many organisations such as Vande Mataram Jan Kalyan Samiti and Rashtrawadi Sena.
In 2005, she led a massive religious procession called ‘Chunari Yatra’ in Dewas, and stayed in Jabalpur for a while where she owns a house in the Gorakhpur locality.
Pragya announced she had become a ‘Sadhvi’ (woman saint) in 2007 at the Allahabad Kumbh and was ordained by the popular seer Swami Avadheshanand Giri, the head of the powerful Juna Akhada.
Pragya was arrested in a case involving a bomb blast in Maharashtra’s Malegaon town on September 29, 2008, that killed six people and injured 101 others. The LML Freedom motorcycle used in the blast was found to be registered in her name.
The case has gone through various twists and turns, with National Investigation Agency (NIA) facing allegations of diluting the case last year after it rejected Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chargesheet and dropping several charges against Pragya, Lt Col Purohit and others citing insufficient evidence. The court, however, decided to go ahead with the case and go by the evidence brought.
Though the court dropped provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her, she is being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
A third person associated with the term ‘Hindu terror’, Aseemanand, was acquitted in March by an anti-terror court in the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express that left nearly 70 people dead. After that, top BJP leaders attacked the use of the term by the Congress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally in Maharashtra that the Congress had branded ‘peace-loving Hindus’ as terrorists and knew it would be punished by voters.
Significantly, Digvijaya Singh was among the Congress leaders who were most vocal in condemning ‘saffron terror’.
The BJP has never lost in Bhopal since 1989, though it has a sizeable Muslim population. Digvijaya Singh was asked by his party colleague, Chief Minister Kamal Nath, to contest from tough seats like Bhopal or Indore, where the Congress hasn’t won in years. Challenge accepted, was Digvijaya Singh’s response, and he was named for Bhopal.
The Bhopal constituency is spread over eight assembly segments — Berasia, Bhopal Uttar, Narela, Bhopal south-west, Bhopal central, Govindpura, Huzur and Sehore.
The 2019 Lok Sabha election is being conducted in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the country. The counting of votes will be done on 23 May.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Ganesh Chaturthi: Home Minister Amit Shah offers prayers at Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja | Watch here
Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday visited Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Pandal. On the auspicious occasion, the Home Minister along with his family offered prayers to Lord Ganesha. Every year, Amit Shah visits Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha.
Lalbaugcha Raja is one of the oldest and the most popular mandals in the metropolis attracting around one crore devotees including celebrities and politicians. Celebrities who visited Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesh this year includes Shah Rukh Khan, Kartik Aryan, Vicky Kaushal, Pulkit Sharma, Manjot Singh and Varun Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Esha Deol, Sunny Leone, Urfi Javed among others.
Following his visit to Lalbaugcha Raja, Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also seen along with the Home Minister seeking blessings from Lord Ganesha.
In the evening, Amit Shah is set to take part in the Laxmanrao Inamdar Memorial lecture, which will be organized at the Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall on the Fort campus of Mumbai University. He will depart for Delhi at 7 pm. According to an official statement from the Mumbai University, Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar will also attend the event.
The Memorial lecture is being conducted by the varsity in association with Sahakar Bharati, a pan-India organisation of Co-Operators and Co-Operatives, founded by Inamdar, popularly known as the ‘Vakil Saheb’ of RSS.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was present at the first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee that took place under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel.
One Nation, One Election: Former President Ram Nath Kovind chairs first official meeting in Jodhpur
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and the political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
The first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee was conducted on Saturday under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel. The meeting witnessed the participation of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad among others.
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and recognised national political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’, according to reports. In addition, the committee members also decided that if any of the political parties want to seek an appointment with the committee, it will be allowed to give their suggestions.
The committee members also deliberated to get the views of the stakeholders like the Election Commission of India, Law Commission Of India and other bodies. Reportedly, the members also primarily discussed how the committee will function and on which issues it needs to have deliberations with the concerned to build a consensus on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
Furthermore, the panel also discussed how it needs to examine various scenarios for the simultaneous elections and make recommendations on how situations like a hung assembly or adoption of a no-confidence motion will be tackled.
Along with Kovind, Azad and Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former chairman of the 15th Finance Commission N.K Singh, former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari are the other names, who are the part of the eight-member panel.
However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declined an invitation to be part of the eight-member committee formed by the Union government to examine the ‘One nation, One election’ concept. The Congress leader also did not attend the first official meeting in Jodhpur. As per reports, the committee will look into the feasibility of holding not only Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, but also elections to municipalities and panchayats.
Supriya Sule to move privilege motion against BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri
The NCP leader further mentioned that two days ago, Ramesh Bidhuri had heckled a senior member of the Parliament.
NCP MP Supriya Sule along with a TMC leader have written to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla stating their intention to move a privilege motion against BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri. Reportedly, during the discussion of Chandrayaan 3 success, Bidhuri’s remarks calling his parliament colleague a terrorist, militant etc triggered an uproar in the House with opposition leaders demanding strong action against him.
Notably, if the privilege motion is carried forward, it could potentially result in serious consequences to BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri. Speaking on the matter, NCP leader Supriya Sule said that Ramesh Bidhuri is a frequent offender, adding that she along with a TMC leader wrote to Om Birla regarding moving a privilege motion against the BJP MP. The NCP leader further mentioned that two days ago, Ramesh Bidhuri had heckled a senior member of the Parliament. She expressed that she condemns such unruly behaviour.
Meanwhile, Clyde Crasto, the national spokesperson of NCP’s Sharad Pawar-led group, expressed his dismay at the behaviour of BJP MPs Harsh Vardhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad, who were observed laughing instead of intervening to correct Bidhuri’s remarks. The spokesperson noted that what is very disgusting is that BJP MPs Harsh Vardhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad were laughing instead of stopping or correcting Bidhuri from speaking in such a manner.
Crasto further urged immediate action against Bidhuri, enquiring why he has not yet faced suspension. The NCP spokesperson said that the Lok Sabha Speaker must take action immediately. Will the BJP suspend him from the party, or will they give him a promotion, he questioned.
Reacting to the developments, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey called for an investigation into the conduct and remarks of Danish Ali as well. Nishikant Dubey, while condemning Bidhuri’s comments, underlined that parliamentary decorum must be upheld. He highlighted that obstructing another MP and providing a running commentary during their allotted time are actions that warrant reprimand under Lok Sabha rules.