A host of SMSs made the rounds soon after the Ahmedabad serial blasts of July 26 which killed 57 people, mocking and abusing chief minister Narendra Modi for having failed to prevent them. A few even implied he had a hand in the blasts.
After three months of investigation the Gujarat police last week tracked down the alleged originator of the messages. It turned out to be Ashwin Patel, a joint secretary of the state Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Patel has been arrested and charged with sedition, defamation and inflaming communal passions.
“The Modi administration is clearly anti-Hindu,” responded Kaushik Mehta, state VHP general secretary. “It is not only
appeasing the minorities but also harassing Hindu activists now.”
Mehta declared the VHP would soon launch a statewide campaign to expose Modi's 'anti-Hindu' policies and practices.
The rift between Modi and the various organs of the Sangh parivar began when the former started distancing himself from their leaders and focused totally on projecting himself as a harbinger of development four years ago.
He made no effort to help the activists of the Sangh parivar who had been arrested for their role in the 2002 riots. Relations worsened further after Modi raised power tariff for farmers despite strong objection from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Bharatiya Kisan Sangh.
During the 2007 assembly election campaign, Modi completely ignored the VHP and its high profile international general secretary Pravin Togadia, whose support had been a key factor in his victory in the earlier 2002 elections. Yet Modi pulled off a thumping victory despite the VHP's shrill campaign opposing him.