Many have been gunning for a halt to Pragya Thakur's political run in the Lok Sabha election 2019 but their prayers were only partially answered recently.
While Pragya Thakur did withdraw from the high-octane clash in Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, it was not the controversial BJP candidate but an Independent who too had filed nomination from here.
The Independent had reportedly sought to fight the battle on her own merit and had filed nomination before BJP had announced its candidate from the Bhopal seat. Once the sadhvi was named as the party's face from here, it was felt that the other Pragya Thakur could end up getting votes meant for BJP here as voters could get confused seeing the same names.
This resulted in BJP's Pragya Thakur inviting the Independent candidate to her residence. She appealed to her to not contest and eventually managed to convince her to withdraw from the election battle. After their meeting, the BJP candidate met reporters along with the Independent and said that the two Pragya Thakurs could not have contested against one another. She also said that the Independent has assured her of her support.
Instances of candidates with similar names confusing voters has been seen in past elections as well. Most notably, there were 10 Chandu Lal Sahus in Chhattisgarh's Mahasamund constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. And then there was BJP's Chandu Lal Sahu and his main rival in former state CM Ajit Jogi. At the time, it was suspected that it was Jogi who had propped up the 10 other Sahus - all of whom were contesting as Independents - to confuse voters away from the BJP candidate.
(Reporting by Dushyant Mishra/Zee Media Bureau)