Aggression was palpable in his silence. Not a twitch appeared on his lips. But Varun Gandhi's unblinking eyes and a fist punching the air seemed to have conveyed a lot about what he was feeling as he walked out of the Etah jail around 6.25 pm on Thursday.
The young BJP candidate for Pilibhit Lok Sabha seat stepped out of the jail after 19 days in a purple kurta and white churidar without a smile on his face, waved and then folded his hands to the crowd and slipped into the front seat of a waiting SUV and drove off to Agra. Mother Maneka followed in another car. He reached Delhi late in the evening.
Earlier in the day the Supreme Court had rejected the Uttar Pradesh government's argument and ordered conditional release of BJP leader Varun Gandhi for 15 days from preventive detention under National Security Act to enable him contest the Lok Sabha election from Pilibhit.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishanan ordered Varun's release after he gave an undertaking not to make provocative speeches promoting communal disharmony during the parole. Varun had to file an undertaking before the superintendent of Etah jail and furnish a bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the same amount. Varun will have to inform the Pilibhit district magistrate about his whereabouts while out on parole.
The court would consider his plea for extending the parole on May 1.
Meanwhile, UP chief minister Mayawati has told Varun to behave properly or be ready to face even more stern action.