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Rift in Sangh Parivar over Pragya Singh's arrest

October 26, 2008 18:16 IST

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The arrest of a sadhvi in connection with the Malegaon blasts on Sunday triggered political charges and counter-charges in the Sangh Parivar with the Bharatiya Janata Party accused of disowning her.

Attacking the BJP, Bhartiya Janshakti Party chief Uma Bharti expressed 'shock' that the party and its affiliated organisations were 'disowning' 38-year-old Pragya Singh Thakur, the sadhvi, who is suspected to have links with right-wing Hindu Jagaran Manch.

"I am shocked and it is shameful that the BJP is disowning her and all their organisations are disowning her. When they wanted, they used her," she said, asking BJP President Rajnath Singh to be "courageous enough".

Bharti recalled having met Pragya in the late 90s during elections in Bhopal.

"At that time, she was working for Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad," she said, adding after that she had heard Pragya had become a sanyasin.

Countering Bharti, BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said, "There is no question of owning or disowning her. She left ABVP in 1995-96."

The BJP, he said, "has made it clear that anyone who is responsible, the law must take its course, provide evidence, let the action be taken. Even her father has said that if she is responsible, the action should be taken".

Referring to the Batla House encounter in Jamia Nagar in New Delhi [Images], Prasad said, "We don't talk about any probe about the Jamia (incident) during which a courageous police officer died. We always say take tough action against terrorism. Terrorism [Images] has no religion."

He further said, "The way media is painting 'Hindu terror' is something we take offence to� because I see double standards of media evident there".




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