2019 polls: Pragya Thakur, Azam Khan among controversial candidates who won

New Delhi: BJP put up a very impressive show by winning the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Controversial candidates such as Pragya Singh Thakur of BJP and Azam Khan of SP won in their respective seats.

These candidates stoked controversy during the election campaign.

Pragya Thakur is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts. She was the BJP candidate in Bhopal constituency seat from Madhya Pradesh and was pitted against Digvijaya Singh of Congress. She won by a margin of 3,64,822 votes. Her total votes are 8,66,482.

He remarks on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot, stoked nation-wide controversy. Earlier, She had remarked that 26/11 attack martyr Hemant Karkare was dead because she had cursed him for torturing her and falsely implicating her in the Malegaon case in 2008. The Election Commission also banned her temporarily from campaigning for her hate remarks.

Her opponent, Congress’s senior leader Digvijaya Singh is also not new to controversies. In March this year, Singh stated that the Pulwama terror attack was an accident.

SP candidate Azam Khan won from Rampur constituency in Uttar Pradesh by over one lakh votes. His sexist remarks on actor-politician Jaya Prada drew widespread ire and is currently facing an FIR for it. He had stated, “People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But I could recognise in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear.” Khan won by 5,59,177 votes against Jaya Prada, who got 4,49,180 votes.

In Bihar, BJP’s Giriraj Singh won from Begusarai by a margin of 4,22,217 votes has been embroiled in several controversies. In March, the veteran BJP leader reportedly said those who did not attend Modi’s rally that month would be deemed anti-national, but the irony was that he himself remained absent from that very rally.

In the South, BJP’s Nalin Kumar Kateel won from Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannanda. The BJP candidate and sitting MP from Dakshina Kannada dove into the Godse controversy by comparing the assassin with Rajiv Gandhi. “Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this?” Kateel tweeted, equating Godse, 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab and Rajiv Gandhi. He later retracted his remarks. Kateel won the constituency by a margin of 2,74,621 votes.

His main rival Mithun M Rai of Congress got 4, 99, 664 votes whereas the winning candidates Kateel got 7,74,285 votes that include 1,531 postal ballots.

The BJP reprimanded him as well as Union minister Anantkumar Hegde, its candidate in Uttara Kannada in Karnataka, who also tweeted on Godse but later deleted it. Hegde, who is also the sitting Lok Sabha member from the constituency, won the seat by getting 7,86,042 votes and defeated Janata Dal (Secular) Anand Asnotikar.

BJP’s young leader Tejasvi Surya, contesting from Karnataka’s Bangalore South constituency, won the seat. Last year, Surya made several controversial statements – “Oh Hindus! When will you understand that a vote to today’s Congress is a vote for yesterday’s Muslim League? It’s sad that this country treats a patriot like Veer Savarkar, who endured the greatest of pains for the motherland, in this manner. 2019 has so much at stake!”

Surya won the seat by getting 7,39,229 votes and defeated Congress’ B K Hariprasad. BJP’s Gurdaspur candidate and Bollywood star Sunny Deol also won his seat by getting 5,58,719 votes, including 7,542 postal votes. Deol had recently stated that he didn’t know much about Balakot strikes but only wanted to serve the people.

NT Bureau