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Varun finds himself friendless at BJP meet

Source: PTI
June 22, 2009 15:31 IST
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Varun Gandhi found himself virtually friendless during the weekend long Bharatiya Janata Party National Executive meet in New Delhi.

Gandhi, whose hate-speeches created controversy for him and for the BJP in the elections, was under attack at the two-day meet which concluded on Sunday.

"At our office-bearers meeting two days back, two eminent colleagues of ours affirmed their faith in Hindutva but cautioned against any narrow, bigoted, anti-Muslim interpretation being put on it," senior BJP leader L K Advani said in his concluding remarks on Sunday.

This was seen as an apparent attempt to distance himself from Gandhi's hate-speech. His reference was to BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain who had contended even at the executive meeting that Gandhi's speech had cost the party dearly in the elections.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Maharashtra BJP leader Gopinath Munde said it was wrong for the BJP to take the stand that people from a particular community did not vote for the party and so it could be ignored.

The political resolution adopted at the meet too sought to disagree with the contention of Gandhi, which has been derisively being referred by his detractors in the party as "Pilibhit brand of Hindutva."

"Theocracy or any form of bigotry is alien to our ethos. Hinduism or, Hindutva is not to be understood or, construed narrowly confined only to religious practices or expressed in extreme forms," the resolution said.

Giving equal treatment to all regardless of their personal faith is integral to Hindutva, the resolution emphasised. In fact, Gandhi's mother Maneka appeared to be his lone defender at the meet, the first after the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha elections for a second successive time.

In the meeting, Maneka had contended that the Muslims were not the core constituency of the BJP and therefore those party leaders who had blamed her son Varun's alleged hate speeches for the party's poll debacle were wrong.

She had said there were other reasons like late distribution of tickets in Uttar Pradesh and the failure of the election-in-charge in doing his job.

Sushil Kumar Modi toed the line taken by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar on wooing the minority community.

While Gandhi was present on the first day of the meeting on Saturday, he kept away from the proceedings on Sunday.

Varun Gandhi's anti-Muslim hate speeches had triggered a controversy during the elections but the young leader had been insisting that the CDs of his speeches were doctored.

But, Pilibhit District Magistrate Ajay Chauhan confirmed findings of the FSL report on Sunday that said the voice in the CD was that of Varun.

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