- Sadhvi Pragya will contest polls against Digvijaya Singh for Bhopal seat
- Malegaon blast victim's father asked for cancellation of her candidature
- Sadhvi Pragya spent 9 years in jail in connection with the case
The father of one of the victims of the 2008 Malegaon blast case, has moved the special court that is hearing the case against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and asked that her candidature in the Lok Sabha polls for the Bhopal seat be cancelled. The 49-year-old right-wing activist, who has spent nine years in jail, has been pitted by the BJP against Congress's Digvijaya Singh.
Special judge VS Padalkar has sought replies from both Pragya Thakur and the National Investigation Agency, and posted the matter for Monday.
Nisar Sayeed had lost his son in the series of blasts that ripped through Malegaon - a town around 280 km from Mumbai -- on September 8, 2006. Five others died too, and nearly 100 people were injured.
Pragya Thakur was arrested in the case shortly after. Investigators said the explosives were stored in a bike belonging to her.
She contended that she had sold it and finally, the charges against her under the stringent stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act or MCOCA were dropped. But she is still an accused in the terror case, charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
On Thursday, as opposition parties vehemently criticised the BJP over her nomination from the Bhopal seat, Nisar Sayeed approached the NIA court, and asked that Pragya Thakur, who is out on bail, be barred from contesting the election as the trial is in progress against her.
His petition further pointed out that Pragya Thakur got bail on health grounds. If she was "healthy enough to fight elections in the crippling summer heat", then she has misled the court, the complainant alleged.
A petition seeking cancellation of her bail is pending before the Supreme Court, it further said.
Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala on Thursday approached the Election Commission, asking that Pragya Thakur's nomination be cancelled.
The candidature of Pragya Singh is seen as a hugely polarising factor in the elections for Bhopal, which has been under BJP control for nearly three decades. Several opposition leaders have dubbed it as a mark of desperation by the BJP in a state where its three-term rule was ended last year by the Congress.
For the Lok Sabha elections, Digvijaya Singh -- a two-time Chief Minister of the state -- is contesting from Bhopal after a challenge to take up the state's toughest seat from Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
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