Former judge and BJP candidate from Dewas Mahendra Solanki on Wednesday found support from an unlikely quarter. Malegaon blast case accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur hit the campaign trail for Solanki, who resigned recently as a civil judge (class I).
Pragya — the BJP candidate from Bhopal— was also the main accused in the murder case of former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, who was shot dead in Dewas on December 29, 2007. She was acquitted by a sessions court here after the case was transferred from the NIA court in Bhopal.
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Solanki, 35, said there was nothing wrong with “Sadhvi Pragya Didi” campaigning for him because she had been given a clean chit in both cases. “The court has given its verdict and it has not been challenged,” he said of the Sunil Joshi murder case that ended in the acquittal of all accused for lack of evidence. Calling it an ordinary case of murder, the NIA had delinked the trial from other terror cases in which Joshi had been named.
“My association with the RSS began in 1999, then I joined the ABVP and then the BJP. I have always been a nationalist. I responded to the call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wanted all honest and nationalist to work for the nation and tendered my resignation,” the former judge told The Indian Express.
Asked if his ideology had affected his work as a judge, he said all the judgments he gave during his nine-year stint are available in the public domain. “As a judge, I followed all the norms. Show me one instance where allegations were leveled against me and I will resign from the Lok Sabha,’’ he asserted.
He also sought to dismiss allegations that he may have heard cases regarding the Vyapam case. “Get me a certified copy of my judgment, I will quit,” he said
According to functionaries familiar with campaign developments, Pragya wanted to hold a road show in Shajapur on Wednesday but was denied permission as the Congress candidate was also scheduled to hold a road show.
She then campaigned for Solanki in Ashta but did not speak, reportedly because of a sore throat.
She is a star campaigner for the BJP and will hit Ashta, Dewas, Burhanpur and Khandwa over Thursday and Friday before campaigning draws to a close for the eight seats in Madhya Pradesh that will go for polling in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 19.
She is unlikely to campaign in Indore which has a substantial Marathi-speaking population.