April 23, 2019 8:55:26 pm
Outgoing Bhopal MP Alok Sanjar Tuesday filed his nomination as a ‘dummy’ candidate from the seat, a day after police registered an FIR against party’s official nominee Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur over remarks on the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, had boasted about her role in the demolition of the 16th-century structure, inviting a show-cause notice from the Election Commission (EC), which also directed the police Monday to file an FIR against her.
The Hindutva leader (48), currently out on bail, had filed her nomination papers Monday, which she believed was an “auspicious time” for her. Thakur was expected to file her papers “formally” Tuesday. The FIR was registered against her Monday night. Sanjar said he filed nomination papers on the directives of the party leadership.
“I will follow all directives of the party leadership,” he told PTI. Sanjar also said he was confident of Thakur’s victory from the constituency with a huge margin. As per norms, a ‘dummy’ candidate of a party gets the party symbol in the event of the nomination of the first candidate getting invalidated due to some reason.
During poll nomination process, an official candidate of a political party has to submit form ‘B’ with designated authorities. The candidate has to submit form ‘A’ and form ‘B’ till the time of scrutiny to get the party symbol allotted. The provision of ‘dummy’ candidate is put in place to ensure that a party doesn’t lose its representation from a seat in case the nomination of the official candidate gets cancelled or declared invalid.
Voting for the 29 parliamentary constituencies in Madhya Pradesh would be held in four phases beginning April 29. Bhopal, where Thakur is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, goes to the polls on May 12 during the third phase.
While April 23 is the last date for submitting nominations for the third phase, scrutiny of applications will be done on April 24, and the last date of withdrawal of applications is April 26. Thakur was booked under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Monday night, two days after the EC issued her a show-cause notice over the remarks she made during a television interview.
During the interview, Thakur was quoted as saying “Ram Mandir hum banayenge aur bhavya banayenge, hum todne gaye the dhancha, maine chadhkar toda tha dhancha, iss par mujhe bhayankar garv hai. “Mujhe Ishwar ne shakti di thi humne desh ka kalank mitaya hai (A grand Ram temple will be built. I had gone to demolish the structure and had climbed atop it to break it. I am tremendously proud of it. God gave me strength to wipe off a blot on this country).”
The EC notice had said Thakur’s remark was a violation of chapter 4 of the model code of conduct, which pertains to maintenance of harmony between castes, communities, religious, linguistic groups. Days after her candidature was announced from Bhopal, Thakur had claimed that former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks due to her “curse” for “torturing” her when he probed the blast case.
She later retracted her remarks after an uproar.
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