Fatima Rasool Siddique, Bharatiya Janata Party’ lone Muslim candidate in Madhya Pradesh 2018 Assembly elections won’t campaign for Pragya Singh Thakur – who is contesting from Bhopal constituency in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
“I won’t campaign for her as she has made statements like waging a dharm yudh (crusade). Her controversial statement against former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, a martyr who laid down his life fighting terrorists in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, has also hurt me badly,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying by PTI.
Later, while speaking to a media channel, Siddique – daughter of Rasool Ahmed Siddique, a Congress leader and former Cabinet Minister in the State said, “They are good people. I joined the BJP because of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, but her statements have damaged the image of someone who has good connect with Muslims”.
She further added, “I believe in Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb. I don’t believe in hurting religious sentiments. That is why I won’t be able to work with her unless she apologises for her recent remarks”.
Earlier, the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused, Sadhvi Pragya on sparked off a controversy by saying that Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who lost his life in the 26/11 attack, had died to “her curse”.
The statement by Thakur, drew flak from opposition parties like the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, who demanded that the party apologise for.
“Then Karkare asked me various questions and I replied ‘God knows’. At this, Karkare said would he have to go to God to get the answers. Then, I told him that he would be destroyed and he was cursed… within a month and a half he fell victim to the terrorists’ bullets.
“Hindus believe that that a period of one and a half month after anyone’s birth or death is of ritual impurity. When Karkare asked me these questions, this period started for him and ended with him being killed by terrorists,” she had said.