Pragya Thakur Was a Normal Girl Before RSS Radicalised Her, Says MP Minister

The BJP's Bhopal candidate had earlier invited the ire of the Election Commission for her remark on the Babri Masjid demolition.

Gwalior/Bhopal: A cabinet minister in the Kamal Nath government on Tuesday claimed that the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate for Bhopal and Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur was a normal girl in her early life only to be spoiled and radicalised by the saffron camp, later.

Known for his adverse remarks on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Govind Singh told reporters, Thakur was a simple girl in her childhood, but after she came in tough with the RSS and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), she was spoiled.

“The two outfits inculcated a criminal mindset, communalism and Hindu-Muslim hatred inside the girl,” said the Lahar MLA.

Singh belonged to the same Lahar town in Bhind where Thakur is said to have spent her formative years. Stating that Thakur wasn’t responsible for her aggressive ideology, the minister said it was the fault of the RSS and BJP.

He even accused the Sangh of repeatedly engaging in ‘shadyantra’ (conspiracy) and called it the 'Rashtriya Shadyantra Sangh'. Thakur got affiliated with the RSS student wing, ABVP, during her college days, and later, started campaigning for the BJP.

She had made a name for herself as an orator and religious preacher until 2008 when her name figured in the Malegaon blasts and she landed in the custody of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Thakur has courted several controversies with her statements and have been issued notices by the Election Commission for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

Soon after being announced as the Bhopal candidate against Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh, she had said that Mumbai Anti-terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare died during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks as she had “cursed” him for torturing her. Thakur had also said that she was among those who had razed the Babri mosque.

Meanwhile, outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who earlier, kicked up a row with a controversial comment on Karkare, reached Bhopal on Tuesday and met Thakur to wish her good luck for the election.

“I extended my greetings and good luck to Thakurji as she is known to me for years,” Mahajan told reporters at the BJP head office in Bhopal.

“I am sure the public here would make her victorious with a good margin and the Bhopal seat would also contribute in the formation of our government in New Delhi,” she said.

The Indore MP was recently upset with her party leadership for denying her a ticket on grounds of age.

She also met ailing BJP senior leaders Babulal Gaur, Kailash Joshi and Kailash Sarang in Bhopal.