The ruling BJP had sprung a surprise by giving a ticket to Thakur who is battling allegations of involvement in terror activities and is an accused in 2008 Malegaon bomb blast. She is currently out on bail.
The Congress had also surprised everyone by fielding former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh who fell out of Congress leadership’s favour due to mishandling of party’s affairs post-election in Goa a few years ago.
Singh was also not very active during the 2018 state assembly elections in which the Congress ended BJP’s 15-year long rule and Kamal Nath became state’s chief minister.
BJP president Amit Shah termed Pragya Singh Thakur’s candidature as a “satyagraha” against the Congress’s alleged conspiracy of defaming Hindu religion by coining the term Hindu terror.
Modi had defended Thakur’s candidature as a response to Congress’ accusations of ‘Hindu terror’.
The seat was won by BJP’s Alok Sanjar in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Sanjar had defeated the Congress’s PC Sharma by over 3,70,000 votes.
Thakur made one controversial statement after another during her campaign which forced her own party to disassociate with her.
PM Modi said he would not be able to forgive her after she called Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse a “patriot”.
Singh had tried countered Thakur’s Hindutva centric campaign by bringing many sadhus in his campaign in a seat which is one of the most keenly watched seat this election. However, Bhopal is known as a BJP bastion.