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Saffron declare war on Govt

BJP president Rajnath Singh came out openly in support of Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the September 29 Malegaon blast case whose role in the February 2007 Samjhauta Express blast is also being probed, reports Vikas Pathak.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2008 00:59 IST
Vikas Pathak

BJP president Rajnath Singh on Sunday came out openly in support of Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the September 29 Malegaon blast case whose role in the February 2007 Samjhauta Express blast is also being probed.

“In a report to the Pakistan foreign ministry, India had said ammonium nitrate, kerosene, etc., were used in the Samjhauta blast. Now they are claiming Lt Col Purohit supplied RDX for the blast. Where did this RDX come from,” he asked.

Singh was addressing Hindu leaders and sadhus at a yoga camp by Baba Ramdev, where they resolved to set up a Dharm Raksha Manch to take on the UPA. The meet followed a yoga shivir attended by thousands. But few stayed back for the political session.

The BJP promptly latched on to the new Hindutva platform launched to counter what many called the government’s attempt to attack sadhus to “appease” Muslims. The platform sees the recent arrests by Anti-Terrorism Squads across the country as a witch hunt and aims to unseat the central government in the coming polls. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Ashok Singhal asked Hindus to decide before the Lok Sabha polls whether they want a woman of foreign origin to rule the country or one who respects Hindu symbols (read BJP).

Ramdev’s shivir was an ideal launch pad. What better mascot than a sadhu with a following of millions? But the yoga guru didn’t oblige the BJP in full. He emphasised that he didn’t support any party, calling present politics corrupt. However, he agreed there was a conspiracy to defame sadhus.

Other BJP leaders declared the sants would decide the course of mass agitation and the BJP would obediently tread their path.

Apart from the thin attendance, the meet witnessed the absence of ideological coherence. While VHP’s Praveen Togadia and RSS chief K. Sudarshan stuck to the broad theme that those wedded to Hindutva could never be terrorists, at least two sadhus said Hindus could take to terror if forced.