Terror-accused Hindu hardliner from Modi’s party wins seat
A Hindu ascetic accused of plotting a bomb attack on Muslims in India defeated an opposition strongman by a big margin on Thursday as her ruling Hindu nationalist party won a massive victory in the country's general election.
Pragya Thakur, contesting from the central city of Bhopal for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is the first person accused of terrorism to be fielded by a major political group in India.
Latest Election Commission data showed she had received 69 percent more votes than her
opponent, Digvijaya Singh, a two-term chief minister of Madhya Pradesh state and a senior member of the main opposition Congress party.
Final results are likely to come later in the day, but two TV stations said she had won, spooking many Muslims.
"This will be a victory of religion," Thakur, clad in her usual saffron, told reporters.
The 49-year-old - described as a pious nationalist, fiery orator and champion of women's rights by her family members - stoked a controversy this month by calling the killer of India's independence hero, Mohandas Gandhi, a patriot. -Reuters