Bhopal: The Bharatiya Janata Party has announced that firebrand activist Sadhvi Pragya will challenge veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in the crucial Bhopal seat.
Having received the proposal from the RSS, say sources, the central leadership of the BJP agreed to the name of Sadhvi Pragya as well as the idea of making her challenge the Congress politician infamous for Hindu baiting.
The official announcement of the name is expected on Wednesday. Earlier, Sadhvi Pragya reached the BJP office in Bhopal and took up the party’s membership formally. BJP leader Narottam Mishra accompanied her.
Sadhvi Pragya grabbed the headlines for the Malegaon blast case and then for the allegedly inhuman treatment meted out to her by the police of the Congress regime.
The sadhvi has undergone a long legal procedure.
The party has instructed local leaders of Bhopal to come out in large numbers in support of Sadhvi Pragya. She said, “I have got a formal membership of the BJP today, I will contest the election and will also win.”
Role of RSS in fielding Sadhvi Pragya
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has played an important role in building a consensus on the name of Sadhvi Pragya. For this, the Sangh first addressed all the leaders at the State level.
The name of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Uma Bharti, Narendra Singh Tomar, Alok Sharma and VD Sharma were considered for the Bhopal seat too.
The Bhopal Lok Sabha seat is going to vote on 12 May. The current MP from this seat is BJP’s Alok Sanjar.
Bhopal is considered a BJP stronghold. There was some speculation over senior BJP leader LK Advani contesting from this seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Later, Advani contested the election from Gandhinagar.
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Unresolved issues in Bhopal
International airlines service
A demonstration rally was organised by about 40,000 people demanding extension of international air traffic to Bhopal from Pune, Chennai and Lucknow.
For a long time, people here have been deprived of many aspects of development. Two big and popular lakes are inalienably associated with the identity of Bhopal.
There are several factories in the city of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. The industrial area is located about 20 km away from the city that also houses units of large companies like Procter & Gamble and Ichter & Lupine, which have the potential to generate employment.
Due to the death of a large number of people in the Bhopal gas tragedy, the Union Carbide scandal and serious diseases that followed the tragedy, the pace of development of the city was affected.
The people here say that despite being the capital of Madhya Pradesh, the city has seen no large scale industrial development while there are better options and facilities for people in Indore and its surrounding areas.
Smart City Project
Bhopal was included in the first 20 cities selected under the Smart City Mission of the Union Government in 2017. There is a lot of expectation from the Metro project under construction. People here say employment is a big issue. They say that the fruits of economic development of the country have not reached Bhopal.
Voting on 12 May
Bhopal will go to vote on 12 May amid a serious want for development. While anti-incumbency got the better of the BJP last year in the Assembly election, the coming of the Congress government led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath has reduced the fatigue factor that was working against the BJP.
Digivijaya Singh’s rule was marked by the worst phase of development, as a result of which, the Congress cannot get away by accusing the BJP of neglecting “core” issues and stressing nationalism if Sadhya Pragya is pitted against him.