BJP candidate Pragya Thakur will be charged for saying she was "proud to be part of the Babri mosque demolition". An election officer has ordered a First Information Report against her.
Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate for Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal in the national election, had said in an interview to television channel TV9 over the weekend that she was among the people who demolished the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 and she was "proud" of it.
"We had removed a blot from the country. We had gone to demolish the structure. I climbed atop the structure and broke it and I feel extremely proud that God gave me this opportunity. We will make sure that a Ram Temple is built at that site," Pragya Thakur said.
She was served notice for "creating mutual hatred or cause tension between different communities", but unfazed, she said she "stands by" what she said. "Yes, I had gone there, I had said it yesterday too, not denying it. I had demolished the structure. I will go there and help in the construction of the Ram temple, nobody can stop us from doing that," she said.
On Sunday, she was reportedly told by her party to "avoid provocative statements", sources said today.
Pragya Thakur, who wears saffron robes and calls herself a "sadhvi", is one of the main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts in which six people were killed and over 100 injured. She was the face of what the previous Congress-led UPA government described as "saffron terror".
Last week, the BJP named her as their candidate in Bhopal against the Congress's Digvijaya Singh, who was among the most vocal leaders in condemning "saffron terror".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the decision to field Pragya Thakur, saying it was a reply to those who tried to link the Hindu civilization to terror. He also asserted that "this symbol will prove costly for the Congress".
Pragya Thakur had been served her first election commission notice for saying that she had "cursed" Hemant Karkare, a celebrated officer who died fighting terrorists in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
"I had told him you will be finished, and he was killed by terrorists in less than two months," Pragya Thakur had bragged at a press conference on Thursday.
Hemant Karkare, as Maharashtra's anti-terror chief, was among the first officers to investigate the 48-year-old after her arrest.
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court dropped stringent charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act against her but the trial court retained charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
She is currently out on bail, on health grounds, and her candidature has been challenged in court by the father of one of the men who died in the Malegaon blast.
Bhopal will vote on May 12 in the election that will end on May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.