The BJP on Wednesday fielded Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, facing trial in the Malegaon blasts case, from the Bhopal parliamentary constituency. She is set to have a direct contest with Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh.
Thakur, who is out on bail, joined the BJP only hours before her name was announced as the Bhopal candidate, underscoring the party’s attempt to bring the Hindutva plank to the centre stage of polls in the high-profile constituency, which has been its bastion for many elections.
An National Investigation Agency (NIA) court had dropped charges against her under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) but she and other co-accused are still facing other charges in the Malegaon case.
Among other candidates, KP Yadav will be the BJP nominee for Guna, which is held by senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. He is contesting again from here.
The BJP also named Raj Bahadur Singh and Ramakant Bhargav as its nominees for Sagar and Vidisha respectively.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj won from Vidisha in 2014 but she had announced that she will not fight the polls this time due to health reasons.