Asaduddin Owaisi, the AIMIM chief and Hyderabad parliamentarian, on Thursday questioned BJP's "zero tolerance" policy against terror, a day after Malegaon blasts accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was fielded by the party as its national election candidate in Madhya Pradesh's capital Bhopal. In a sharp attack, Mr Owaisi, a forceful critic of the ruling party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleged that the candidature was rehabilitation of a terror accused.
"A terror accused has been rehabilitated by BJP. The brazenness of must be astounding to outsiders; but we are discussing it like it is routine political strategy This is the BJP's "zero tolerance" policy against terrorism," Mr Owaisi tweeted.
Sadhvi Pragya, along with Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, were named as accused in the Malegaon blasts that killed 7 people and injured 100 in 2008. Congress-led UPA government at the centre had described the incident as an act of "saffron terror".
Though the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court dropped charges under MCOCA against her, she is being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
They are both out on bail in the case.
A third person associated with the term "Hindu terror", Swami Aseemanand, was acquitted in March by an anti-terror court in the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express that left nearly 70 people dead.
Reacting to the opposition's attacks, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav today said no such thing as "saffron terror" exists or ever existed.
"Accusation of saffron terror, Hindu terror was a creation of UPA. No such thing existed or exists now.Some people were wrongfully put in jail. Nobody can question us on constitutional validity of putting up a candidate who has just allegations against her," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Sadhvi Pragya will take on Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh, who welcomed her with a cryptic tweet on Wednesday. "I welcome Sadhvi Pragya to Bhopal. I hope you will like the peaceful, educated and decent environment in this city. I pray to mother Narmada for her and pray that we all can be on the path of truth, non-violence and religion," he tweeted.
BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday slammed the Congress saying it had tried to defame the country across the world by raising the bogey of "Hindu terror".
With inputs from agencies
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