Pragya Singh Thakur, accused in the Malegaon attack case and the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal against Congress’s Digvijaya Singh, owns assets worth around Rs 4.44 lakh.
In an affidavit filed along with her nomination papers, the saffron-robed right-wing activist, who describes herself as an sadhvi, meaning ascetic, said she has two bank accounts which cumulatively have around Rs 1.89 lakh. Under “source of income”, she has entered “Bhikshatan”, meaning she lives on charity.
In addition, she also owns two silver bowls, a silver plate, four silver glasses and some silver rings for hand and feet. The 49-year-old, who recently courted controversy with comments on the demolition of the Babari Mosque in Ayodhya, also declared that she owns a silver brick inscribed with the name of the Lord Ram, meant for the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Her comment that she had climbed atop the mosque and broken it, and she was “proud” of it, has brought her a notice from the Election Commission. A Police case has also been filed against her. In her response to the Election Commission, Pragya Thakur admitted the remark, but added that it was taken out of context.
The right-wing activist was shown black flags today when she went the magistrate’s office to file the affidavit – evidence of the backlash against her candidature and the subsequent hugely controversial comments.
Her candidature has been challenged by the father of one of the six men who died in the string of blasts in Malegaon in 2006 that also left around 100 people injured. The petitioner has asked the court to bar her from contesting.
In her reply to the NIA court today, Pragya Thakur said the plea was “frivolous” and made with a “political agenda”. There is no provision in law that can bar her from contesting elections, she said.
The Malegaon case, in which she has been accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, is yet to go to trial. Pragya Thakur, who is out on bail, was cleared of the charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act or MCOCA, in 2017 and was released on bail nearly a year later.
The activist, who spent much of the day observing a “maun vrat (oath of silence)” denied that she had been gagged by her party over her controversial comments. “Abhi main apne bhaav mein hoon,” she told NDTV this morning.
Sources said on Monday, over a four-hour meeting with the party’s senior leaders, Pragya Thakur was asked to avoid controversial comments.
Since her induction in the party last week, Pragya Thakur has received two notices from the Election Commission. The first one was over her comment that she had “cursed” Hemant Karkare, the police officer who died battling terrorists during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
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