Bhopal: Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, who joined the BJP formally in the morning of Wednesday, has been declared as the party’s candidate from Bhopal. Thus the party is pitting her against Congress’s Digvijaya Singh. 

This is likely to turn into a contest between nationalism and false stereotyping of Hindus, as the latter has come to be associated with the persona of Singh.  
Pragya, along with five other people, was accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, which killed 10 people and injured 80 more. However, the National Investigation Agency said that there wasn’t sufficient evidence against her and dropped all charges.

Sadhvi Pragya's antecedents

Pragya's family claimed that she was tortured by the security agencies. They also claimed that she was wrongly framed by the previous Congress-led government for the Malegaon blast case.
Her sister Upama Singh claimed: "She had been put through unspeakable torture after she was arrested on false charges and since then her health has been deteriorating. Due to the excruciating torture, she has developed complications in her spine, which is a cause of grave concern for us.”

BJP sets terms of campaign against Congress

Singh is known for his long list of gaffes or provocative statements made deliberately. In 2016, he referred to Jammu and Kashmir as "India-Occupied-Kashmir", equating it to the part of the Indian state that Pakistan. However, he later clarified that he meant to say PoK and that "Kashmir is an integral part of India."

Also read: Has Congress found a scapegoat in Digvijaya Singh, fielded from Bhopal?
Singh has been one of the Congress leaders promoting the faux concept of "Hindu terrorism" where he said that 26/11 had been plotted by the RSS.
At the same time, Singh is ever-ready to protest against any stereotyping of Muslims. So much so, he would even call the Batla House encounter ordered by the UPA government led by his own party, the Congress, "fake".
Earlier, the Congress leader had also referred terrorist Osama bin Laden as "Osamaji" and Hafiz Saeed as ''saheb".
Recently, Singh also questioned the Balakot airstrike by the Indian Air Force. He demanded evidence of the strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror camp in Balakot from the Centre.
“I am not questioning the recent IAF action against Pakistan-based terrorist camps. But pictures of any incident in open space can be accessed through satellite technology. So we should also give evidence, the way the United States government presented evidence of Osama bin Laden’s killing before the world,” Singh said.

Why it won't be development-vs-development

Singh-led Congress reportedly lost the Madhya Pradesh election in 2003 following a telling sentiment of anti-incumbency against his government. The state of three fundamental wants of the electorate — bijli, sadak and pani (electricity, roads and water) -- lay in a shambles. "Frankly, I failed to feel the pulse of the voters. It appears there is a strong wave (against the Congress government) and there could have been some public anger," Singh said after losing the election as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
While Sadhvi is a rookie in electoral politics, Singh's abysmal record in governance in general and development, in particular, is likely to inhibit him from attacking his rival on the economic front.