Out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, the battle for Bhopal is getting the most attention as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blast case. The already controversial name created further controversy with her remarks on martyr Hemant Karkare.
Her challenger in Bhopal is former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh, who seeks to win this election on the promise of bringing development and employment.
The city has been a BJP stronghold since 1989, however, this time following the defeat of the party in the assembly polls, the contest for Bhopal is bound to be a highly polarised one.
BJP has distanced itself from Thakur’s remarks and asked her to exercise restraint. Local BJP leaders find it hard to defend her statements, sources told CNBC-TV18.
The party is taking no chances. Party stalwarts like Uma Bharati and Sumitra Mahajan are being sent to Bhopal to ensure Thakur's victory.
Sadhvi Pragya’s campaign is all about nationalism, Hindutva and development under Narendra Modi and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. At every rally and public meeting, she and her campaign managers focus on the torture she faced in the custody.
But one thing is for clear - Thakur's recent comments on Karkare and Babri Masjid have embarrassed BJP in the city.