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Future course of action on Varun's speech after viewing tapes

BJP would decide on future course of action to be taken on Varun Gandhi's reported inflammatory speech after viewing tapes and hearing his version, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said today.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2009 17:16 IST

BJP would decide on future course of action to be taken on Varun Gandhi's reported inflammatory speech after viewing tapes and hearing his version, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday.

"We will see the tape and hear from him what he has to say about what is purported to him," he told reporters here when asked if any action would be taken against the 29-year-old leader against whom the Election Commission has filed a criminal case for his speech which evoked nationwide outrage.

"Without knowing anything for sure, how can we conclude anything?" he asked and said that Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Pilibhit LS constituency in Uttar Pradesh, had told the party that the video tape had been "doctored".

On Varun Gandhi remaining unapologetic with assertions that he was a Gandhi, Hindu and an Indian in equal measure, Naidu asked, "so what is wrong in being a Hindu?"

On demands by Congress leaders for Gandhi's arrest, he said the Congress "animosity" towards Varun Gandhi's family is well-known, and wanted to know why Congress had not demanded a similar action against A R Antulay whom he accused of making "inflammatory" statements in the past.

He said BJP had not issued any gag orders as alleged but all candidates and party workers have been issued circulars on dos and don'ts. They have been asked to keep in mind the party's culture and the election commission guidelines before making any statements, he said.