Poll over but Bhopal echoes in Modi rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being garlanded during an election campaign rally for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, in Ratlam, on May 13, 2019. PTI

A day after the vote was cast for the Bhopal’s keen battle between two-time chief minister Digvijaya Singh and Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur, it reverberated in the prime minister’s election rally in Ratlam on Monday.  

Modi again raked up fugitive Islamic evangelist Zakir Naik’s alleged connection with senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh while taunting at the Bhopal Congress candidate’s abstention from voting on Sunday.

Digvijaya could not go to his native place Raghogarh in Rajgarh parliamentary constituency to cast vote as he was busy visiting booths in Bhopal to ensure maximum possible voting in his favour. He later regretted failing to cast vote.  

Modi jibed at the senior Congress leader’s abstention from voting and wondered aloud if “ Diggi Raja” was scared (of leaving Bhopal). “Why you got scared when you are not scared of even Zakir Naik?”, the prime minister taunted while addressing an election meeting in Ratlam on Monday.

Dubbing Digvijaya's abstention as a reflection of the Congress’s arrogance, Modi said millions of voters including the President of India cast their votes but Diggi Raja did not bother to do so as he did not care for democracy.

Modi also referred to “saffron terrorism”— the main theme in the Bhopal’s poll battle — and reiterated the allegation that the Congress coined this phrase to malign the Hindu community.

Modi did not hold an election rally in the Bhopal parliamentary constituency but in his rallies elsewhere in Madhya Pradesh he targeted the Congress for hatching conspiracy to persecute Pragya in the name of the Hindu terror.

In a rally in Hoshangabad on April 30, Modi had accused Digvijaya of carrying Zakir Naik on shoulder and dancing.

The BJP believes that the Bhopal battle has set the tone for its campaigning in the Malwa region where eight seats are going to poll on May 19.

It is the Malwa region, particularly Indore, that gave rise to the phrase Hindu terror. The accused of the Malegaon, Ajmer Sharief and Samjhouta blasts were traced in Indore and adjoining areas in 2008. Sensational murder of Sunil Joshi, an alleged accomplice of Pragya was reported in Dewas near Indore in 2007. As many as eight accused of the blasts which targeted Muslims had their roots in the Malwa region.

Therefore it came as no surprise that Modi chose to remind the people of the Malwa region Digvijaya's voting abstention and Pragya’s alleged torture. 

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