NEW DELHI: Going all out to win the ideological battle against the Congress in Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP has fielded two party vice presidents — Vinay Sahashrabuddhe and Prabhat Jha — to man the campaign, besides roping in scores of MLAs and party workers to rally support for controversial nominee Sadhvi Pragya Thakur against formidable opponent Digvijaya Singh.
The BJP’s scaling up organisational might in Bhopal is in line with the party chief Amit Shah’s directions to party workers to ensure a resounding victory for Thakur to send out a loud message across the state against Congress. “We’re going the extra mile for Bhopal elections, and even municipal wards are being mapped by senior leaders. The BJP is in full strength in Bhopal. We see strong response from people for Thakur, including women waving victory signs to the BJP candidate during canvassing,” Sahashrabuddhe said.
Even while Bhopal is seen as saffron bastion, the BJP leaders admit that Congress nominee Digvijaya Singh is a formidable rival. With the BJP out of power in Madhya Pradesh, it appears that the saffron outfit is bracing for a long drawn out ideological battle with the Congress in the state. Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) is seen well entrenched in the state. But Congress’ return to power in the state is being noted as threat to supremacy of RSS’ ideology.
“Singh is principal ideological rival of the BJP, for raising the bogey of Hindu terrorism. His decisive defeat will ensure assertion of the saffron ideological might not only in Bhopal but across the state,” said a senior BJP functionary.
BJP files review plea
The BJP has filed a review appeal before the EC on Thursday against the order banning BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur from campaigning for 72 hours. A BJP delegation, including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and senior party leader Vinay Sahasrabuddhe submitted the review appeal before ECI in New Delhi on Thursday, requesting the poll body to reconsider Thakur’s case in the light of the apology tendered. Barred from campaigning, Thakur on Thursday visited temples and gaushala in Bhopal. Thakur started her day by visiting temple of a goddess known as ‘Curfew Wali Mata’ at Bhawani chowk and then went to Gufa Mandir at Lalgathi. She also visited a gaushala (cow shelter) in the temple’s premises