The Bharatiya Janata Party must expel its Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for her statement praising Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said yesterday.
Thakur, who is an accused in the Malegaon blast, sparked a controversy after she lauded Godse and called him a “patriot”.
“The BJP should take action against her. She should be expelled from the party for what she said,” Nitish Kumar said in Patna after casting his vote in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) is an alliance partner of the BJP.
“The BJP should think about such comments. We condemn such remarks,” Kumar said.
Thakur is contesting from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Thakur had earlier too, created controversy after she claimed that 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, who died fighting against terrorists in Mumbai, lost his life because he tortured her in jail.
Meanwhile, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an estranged ally of the BJP, said the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance would big win in the final phase of voting in Purvanchal in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar, who claims to have walked out of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government last month over denial of seats of his choice in the state, has fielded 39 candidates in eastern Uttar Pradesh, including in Varanasi from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election.
“No party will get a majority in these elections. In eastern UP, It is the SP-BSP alliance that will dominate. Without our support the BJP will suffer losses in at least 30 seats in Purvanchal. It is losing Balia, Gorakhpur and Ghazipur seats,” said Rajbhar.
He predicted that the saffron party will only win 15 seats in the state. “The SP-BSP alliance will win 55-60 seats, while the Congress will get two-three seats.”
Rajbhar, who has considerable clout in eastern Uttar Pradesh, asserted that his party has not campaigned for the saffron party. “We are not with them now. We only asked for the Ghosi seat, which the BJP did not give us,” he said.
The SBSP chief last week declared support for the Congress candidate in Mirzapur and SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate in Maharajganj and Bansgaon.
His new statements can mean trouble for the BJP, since Rajbhars constitute 20% of the Purvanchal population and are regarded as the second-most politically dominant community after Yadavs in eastern UP.
In Indore, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said he wasn’t sure whether Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath would survive after the Lok Sabha election results.
“Right now there is a question mark over survival of Kamal Nath as the chief minister for 22 days after the Lok Sabha election results,” Vijayvargiya said responding to reporters’ questions on the Congress claim of winning 22 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh.
Vijayvargiya’s comment reaffirms other BJP leaders’ claims that the state would not have a Congress government after the Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress has 114 and the BJP 109 seats in the 230-member assembly. The Congress government is supported by the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and independents.
In other developments, the Election Commission (EC) has sought a report from the Patna District Magistrate on the alleged thrashing of journalists by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s son and former Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav at a polling booth in Bihar’s capital yesterday.
According to local TV reports, Yadav was coming out after casting his vote at a polling booth when mobbed him.
A local police official said in the commotion, a cameraman’s foot came under the wheel of Yadav’s car. When some journalists shouted to the driver to stop the car, Yadav’s bouncers roughed up the cameraman and the others journalists.
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