BJP leader: Sadhvi must respect Hijab, she is tarnishing image of party
By  Shimon Chadha | Updated:  Apr 26, 2019, 03:23 PM
BJP leader Fatima Rasool Siddique, while speaking to reporters on Thursday, said that the party candidate for the Bhopal constituency, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, was “provoking the people” with her “obnoxious, communal comments”, and thereby “tarnishing the image of the party”.
Thakur was accused of being responsible for the 2008 Malegaon blast case, which resulted in 101 injuries and 6 casualties. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad member was arrested, and remained in jail for a few years, and was granted bail in 2016. Thakur, after her announcement of contesting in the ongoing elections, was reported as saying that the Opposition has “insulted the saffron flag, Hindu dharma and Hindutva”. She vowed to make this a crucial focus point in the elections. Clearly indicating her modus operandi and goal of contesting, she said that “dharm” will be victorious, and “adharm” will be destroyed.
Siddique, who had contested from the Bhopal North Assembly constituency, but lost to Congress candidate Arif Aqueel in December 2018, said that she will campaign for Thakur only if she “apologizes to Muslims”. Referring to Thakur’s statements that she was “proud to have been a part of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992”, Siddique condemned Thakur for crusading her dharma yudh, and even said that though a lot of Muslim party members were unhappy with Thakur’s statements, she was the only one who had the courage to raise her voice against it, and file a complaint against her with the party leaders. Siddique further spoke about former MP CM and senior party leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan, saying that Thakur’s statements might spoil Chauhan’s “good reputation among Muslims”. She said that though she herself respects saffron, she does not believe Thakur respects hijab.
Moving on to Thakur’s recent controversial statement against Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare who lost his life saving hundreds of people in the Mumbai 2008 terrorist attack, that she had “cursed him” for allegedly torturing her in jail, leading to his death, Siddique expressed her strong disapproval that the aforementioned statement had hurt many people badly. She further claimed that Thakur had many cases registered against her, and that she needed to focus on matters of development rather than insulting martyrs, wondering whether these would “bring about employment, education, women empowerment”.
Voting in Bhopal will be conducted on May 12, in the sixth phase of the ongoing 17th Lok Sabha elections. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
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