The BJP came to regret, at least at a visceral level, its fielding of Pragya Singh Thakur in the Lok Sabha polls. There may be precedents of terror accused being candidates, but the Malegaon case accused, charged with planting a bomb, proved embarrassing enough for the party to rein her in. The candidate, out on bail, has already spoiled the pitch for herself and her party by shockingly naming a martyred police officer as evil, and claiming her curse may have led to his death. She did backtrack and apologise after the nation was outraged, and may even have a clever explanation for the EC on the matter.
The point is that she did everyone a disservice, including herself and her party, by insulting an officer who took bullets on his chest out in the field while tackling the 26/11 attack on Mumbai. Curiously, her party is the one that has pitchforked nationalism and patriotism and keeping the country safe from terror into the heart of the 2019 poll campaign.
The BJP may have seen the firebrand former student leader as an apt choice to take on old baiter and ex-royal Digvijay Singh, who had been vocal on “Hindu terror”. But the world knows this communal move came as the BJP’s poll prospects had to be improved by any means. The Prime Minister himself justified the choice of one who has spent nine years in jail under terrorism and murder charges, claiming it was payback for the former ruling party foisting terror labels on Hindus. Now she also has to answer the Election Commission on why she eulogised her role in the destruction of the Babri Masjid.