The BJP's controversial candidate Sadhvi Pragya has taken a significant lead in Bhopal over Congress candidate Digvijaya Singh. The BJP candidate was earlier spotted celebrating her lead over the Congress veteran. Pragya Thakur currently has a vote share of 55.71 per cent while Singh is trailing with 41.54 per cent share. BSP candidate Madho Singh Ahirwar is on the third spot with 0.64 per cent.
Sadhvi Pragya is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and had spent nine years in jail. She joined the BJP in April, which was followed by severe criticism by the Opposition parties. She was cleared of charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act or MCOCA but still faces charges for the series of bombings that killed six people and injured more than hundred.
BJP projected her candidature as an answer to Congress' minority appeasement politics. While Congress refrained from bringing up the religion angle, knowing fully well that it would cost them, BJP did the exact opposite. "Pragya Thakur's candidature is a satyagraha against a fake case of fake bhagwa (saffron) terror. I want to ask Congress, some people were earlier arrested in 'Samjhauta Express' who were related to LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba). A fake case of "bhagwa terror" was made in which the accused have been acquitted," BJP President Amit Shah said during a May 17 press conference that was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP also said that Digvijaya Singh coined the term 'Hindu terror'.
Bhopal Lok Sabha seat has always been a BJP stronghold. The party has won 12 of the total 16 Lok Sabha elections held from the seat.