The internecine warfare raging within the saffron brotherhood spilled into the public domain when top ranking Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Dr Pravin Togadia levelled charges of conspiracy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. He was talking to media persons immediately after his release from hospital. The volleys came on a day the Prime Minister was on home turf hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Dr Togadia charged the Ahmedabad Crime branch, particularly its joint commissioner, JK Bhatt, of ”harassing” nationalist workers at the behest of political bosses in Delhi. “In the last 15 days, how many times has this officer spoken with the Prime Minister,” he questioned, adding that ”their call details should be made public.”
He said that over 20 people from the crime branch had descended on his close associate, Ghanshyambhai, at 2 am on Wednesday and ‘‘pressurised him to speak against me’’. The top VHP leader, who enjoys ”Z” category security, had gone missing for over eight hours on Monday morning only to be found unconscious at an Ahmedabad hospital. His absence had led to frazzled nerves in the VHP with cadres taking to the streets and even gheraoing a police station. The cops first said that they were forming teams to investigate his disappearance but later came out with a statement that suggested the VHP leader had faked his disappearance.
However, the crime branch had its own answering to do with Togadia asking as to how a Rajasthan police team received the backing of the Gujarat police to arrest him in a case which was withdrawn in 2015? “I had spoken to the chief minister and other top political authorities in Rajasthan who denied any knowledge of cops being sent to arrest me. Then who had come to arrest me and under whose instructions,” Togadia demanded, adding, ”It seems that Bhatt is acting under the influence of political bosses in Delhi”.
Referring to Modi as his old friend, Togadia said that he would like to urge him not to embark on a journey that would lead to the murder of democracy. ”Is this the crime branch or a conspiracy branch? I have intimated my lawyer and propose to initiate legal action against the crime branch,” he added.