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How Sadhvi Pragya is preparing for the poll battle in Bhopal

BJP contestant from Bhopal is also likely to launch her twitter handle soon.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 20, 2019, 03.21 PM IST
“Look at the love and affection they are showing for me,” Sadhvi Pragya tells ET as she accepts bouquets from BJP workers.
BHOPAL/ SEHORE: She has been locked inside a room for over three hours. Outside house number 128 in the posh Riviera Towne in Bhopal, supporters with vermillion smeared foreheads start gathering for Sadhvi Pragya.

“She is in dhyan,” they are told. It is Hanuman Janma Mahotsav and Sadhvi Pragya has a very long pooja. Finally around 10.30 am, clad in her trademark saffron robe, she emerges from her room sending the television cameras in a tizzy. The entire show is being managed by “Upma didi”. Her sister and a confidante, who lives in Bilaspur, has come down to manage her schedule, meetings and interviews.


As Sadhvi Pragya mouths her deshbhakti and Dharma vs Adharm line on election, Upma didi and sitting BJP MP from Bhopal Alok Sanjar discuss the day’s programme. It is a packed day with numerous stopovers at temples. Sadhvi finally hits the road in her SUV at 11 am. It is an entourage of 10 vehicles and television cameras chasing her through the narrow lanes of residential colonies. Sadhvi Pragya is new to the constituency and is leaning on the people she trusts. Driving her is Mahesh, the only one she has a friendly banter with in her car. “ T ujhe main yaheen utaar doongi,” she threatens him with a smile. She introduces him to this correspondent. “His only introduction is – he is married to my ABVP saathin. That’s all you need to know,” says Sadhvi Pragya.

She is seated in the front seat, which has been especially fixed for her to stretch her legs and recline in a comfortable position. In the middle seat is Sanjar and a local aide who coordinates the programme at various stop. Right at the back are Upma didi and another aide Satish handling Sadhvi’s bag of fruits, steel glasses for water and coconut water.

Sadhvi hasn’t been keeping well. Her health is a concern. As she disembarks from her car, she needs help. She puts an arm around two people and is helped in and out of the car. She cannot climb steps. In crowded Hanuman mandir in Sehore, about 40 kilometres from Bhopal, Upma didi gets off the car. “It is crowded. Why do you get her to such crowded places,” she tells an aide in the car. She deftly handles the people around her pre-empting where Sadhvi would need help. Then the entourage moves ahead.

“Look at the love and affection they are showing for me,” Sadhvi Pragya tells ET as she accepts bouquets from BJP workers. But she doesn’t have much patience to engage. Without getting off from the car, she opens a crack in the window and says, “Please don’t throw flowers at me, I won’t be able to open the window and talk to you.” Through this all, Sanjar sits patiently right behind her with his window open and calling out the names of people and seeking their vote for Sadhvi Pragya. BJP puts up a united front.

She enters a workers meeting and engages with a saffron kurta clad functionary who is handling her social media. “Till my victory I want you to deftly put all the photographs on social media. From today you create a proper account and I will announce it as my official account,” Sadhvi Pragya says.

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Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service