My curse killed Karkare, says Pragya, lands BJP in soup

Pragya Singh Thakur

Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur caused a furore on Friday by stating that her curse had led to the death of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack martyr Hemant Karkare.

Pragya Singh told the media in Bhopal on Friday that she had cursed late Hemant Karkare that he will be destroyed (Tumhara Sarvnash Hoga), and within 45 days of her going to jail, terrorists killed him. Karkare earned the curse of sadhus and sanyasis because his deeds were not good, she added.

Though Sadhvi Pragya went into damage control by apologising late in the day,  the comment has compounded the BJP’s woes in Madhya Pradesh, where the party is already battling a range of problems.

In more trouble, the Election Commission has taken cognisance of the remarks made by Sadhvi Pragya. V L Kantha Rao, Chief Electoral Officer of Madhya Pradesh, sought a report from the Returning Officer of Bhopal on the explosive remarks.

Ironically, the statement came at a time when the BJP was keen to leverage the emotional outpouring over Sadhvi Pragya’s jail ‘ordeal’ to paint the Congress party as progenitor of the ‘Hindu terror’ phrase. But her shocking remark on the late IPS officer has forced the party to duck for cover.

Although a red-faced BJP quickly distanced itself from her “personal statement”, the party is rattled over the prospects of damage caused to its ‘nationalist’ image by someone who joined the party two days ago.

BJP leaders have privately admitted that Sadhvi Pragya is proving to be an albatross around their neck. In public though, they are busy explaining the remark as an “overreaction borne out of personal mental and physical torture she underwent during captivity of the Maharashtra ATS”, which was headed by late Hemant Karkare. 

The controversial BJP candidate is scheduled to file her nomination papers on April 23. The BJP is reportedly assessing the extent of damage to its electoral prospects over the remark. Possibility of replacing the Sadhvi is not ruled out if this option helps control damage, according to party sources.

The BJP is already battling a variety of crises, ranging from dissent, threat of sabotage and anti-incumbency against sitting MPs. Resource crunch owing to loss of power in the state is another trouble the party is staring at.

The social media is seething with rage over the unconscionable tirade. The IPS Officers’ Association has condemned the ‘insulting statement by a candidate’ and has reminded in a tweet that ‘Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists’.

The Sadhvi’s rival and Congress veteran Digvijay Singh avoided reacting to her directly and merely said no comment should be made against the army and martyrs during election campaign. He, however, added that Hemant Karkare was an honest officer who laid down his life saving people from terrorist attack in Mumbai.

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