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In Damage Control Mode, RSS to Keep 24/7 Tab on Sadhvi Pragya’s Bhopal Campaign, Media Interactions

The BJP candidate from Bhopal kicked off her poll campaign on Friday with a shocking statement, claiming that Hemant Karkare, who had died in action during the 26/11 terror attacks, lost his life because she had 'cursed him'.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:April 23, 2019, 12:21 PM IST
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In Damage Control Mode, RSS to Keep 24/7 Tab on Sadhvi Pragya’s Bhopal Campaign, Media Interactions
The BJP candidate from Bhopal kicked off her poll campaign on Friday with a shocking statement, claiming that Hemant Karkare, who had died in action during the 26/11 terror attacks, lost his life because she had 'cursed him'.
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Bhopal:Days after Malegaon Blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur made controversial remarks on 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare and Babri Masjid demolition, the RSS has come forward to bail out the BJP, which is facing flak for fielding Thakur from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.

Rattled by her unrestrained jibes, the BJP senior leaders had summoned her to party office on Sunday and offered her some tips on airing views with patience during elections.

In damage control mode, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has deputed some senior volunteers who would remain close to Thakur during her campaigning.

On Monday, a new team was constituted to take care of Thakur’s campaign and sitting MP Alok Sanjar was deputed as her public relations in-charge and in his absence, former minister Umashankar Gupta would be taking care of the responsibility.

The BJP candidate from Bhopal kicked off her poll campaign on Friday with a shocking statement, claiming that former chief of Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad, Hemant Karkare, who had died in action during the 26/11 terror attacks, lost his life because she had “cursed him”. She had also called Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, her opponent in Bhopal, Mahishasur, and made veiled references to his second marriage.

As part of the plan, RSS volunteers, some of who hail from different parts of the country, would be around the Sadhvi 24/7 to keep a tab on her public and media interactions. Two senior BJP leaders would also accompany her during the campaigns.

The BJP is also planning to highlight Thakur’s custodial woes to gain support for her.

The move seems to have struck a note with Thakur who has mellowed down in the last few days, answering media queries with patience and avoiding questions that can land her in trouble.

The earlier team, comprising mostly of Vishwa Hindu Parishad volunteers, had reportedly been dismantled on the instructions of the RSS office-bearers.

But the efforts seem to have come a tad too late as the BJP leader was booked by Kamla Nagar police in Bhopal for violation of model code of conduct. The action comes in the wake of Thakur’s contentious take on Babri mosque demolition.

The Election Commission is yet to pronounce a verdict on Thakur’s remarks on Karkare. In her response, she had termed her outburst a description of her sufferings and blamed the media for presenting the statement with negativity. The chief electoral officer of MP, VL Kantha Rao, has sent a report on the issue to ECI.

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