The candidature of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a 2008 Malegaon blast case accused, for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat was contested in a Mumbai court on Thursday.
Thakur is up against senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.
Nisar Sayeed, who lost his son in the blast, filed an application at a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court against Thakur’s candidature.
He alleged that Thakur had been making “objectionable speeches" since her release.
Special National Investigation Agency cases judge V.S. Padalkar sought replies from both the NIA and Thakur and posted the matter for Monday.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured in a bomb blast at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in north Maharashtra, on 29 September 2008.
The BJP’s controversial move to nominate Thakur, who is out on bail, has been strongly criticized by opposition parties.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Thursday demanded the cancellation of Thakur’s bail.
Her candidature has also been challenged by political commentator Tehseen Poonawala.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “Imagine the anger if I’d field a terror accused. Channels would’ve gone berserk by now trending a mehboobaterrorist hashtag! According to these guys terror has no religion when it comes to saffron fanatics, but otherwise all Muslims are terrorists. Guilty until proven innocent."
Thakur said “they (authorities) wanted to force me to accept that I was involved in the blast in which Muslims were killed. They used to beat me day and night".
The BJP, meanwhile, was also quick to defend her candidature.
“Some people were wrongfully put in jail. Nobody can question us on constitutional validity of putting up a candidate who just has allegations against her," Ram Madhav, BJP national general secretary, told reporters.
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