Varun, a growing pain for the BJP?
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Varun, a growing pain for the BJP?

Court dismisses Varun Gandhi’s petition to quash FIR; ally Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar calls for stern action. Shekhar Iyer reports.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2009 00:44 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times

In a setback to BJP leader Varun Gandhi, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed his petition seeking quashing of an FIR filed against him for his alleged hate speech against the Muslims in Pilibhit.

Varun had challenged the FIR filed against him on March 17 for allegedly spreading religious venom through his speech.

Meanwhile, the BJP, caught in a tricky situation over Varun, continued to back the young politician in spite of the increasing legal troubles. But the party's allies, led by Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar, demanded stern action against Varun.

“As a political worker and a resident, this is my clear opinion that legal action should be taken against him (Varun). I feel he cannot escape legal action, in fact,” Nitish said. “If anybody in politics and in public life makes such statements, there is a law and action should be taken according to it.”

The only relief for the BJP is that for the time being, Nitish's Janata Dal (United) is not pressuring the BJP to drop Varun as a candidate. “We can't give them any suggestions on whether to allow anybody to contest or not,” he added.
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley, who met the Bihar CM on Wednesday, said, “There is no dispute between us (over this issue).” BJP national president Rajnath Singh said Varun’s candidature won’t be cancelled.

First Published: Mar 26, 2009 00:42 IST