Gujarat Chief Minister and the BJP's election committee chief Narendra Modi is reportedly unhappy with BJP leaders coming to the defence of Asaram Bapu, the self-styled godman currently accused in a case of sexual assault.
According to an India Today report, Modi conveyed his displeasure to BJP President Rajnath Singh and asked him to ensure that no BJP leader is seen defending Asaram.
Modi told Singh that the party's stand should be simply that the case against the godman should be dealt with as per law.
Two prominent BJP leaders, party vice-president Prabhat Jha and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti, defended Asaram Bapu saying the allegations against him were a frame-up effected by the Congress party.
Jha had also said that the Congress party indulges in all sorts of political conspiracies against its opponents before elections. "Rape charges against Asaram Bapu is a well planned Congress conspiracy," he had said.
On August 22, Bharti tweeted in support of Asaram saying he had been targeted for opposing Sonia Gandhi's family. "Asaram Bapu is innocent. He is being targeted for opposing Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. False cases are being filed against him in Congress states. We are with Asaram Bapu," she had tweeted.
The Congress, however, refused to react to her comments saying the law would take its own course.
Meanwhile, Jodhpur Police have refused to grant Asaram more time and have made it clear that he could be arrested if he failed to present himself for questioning by August 30.
A 16-year-old girl living in the Asaram Ashram has alleged that the spiritual leader raped her. She reportedly told investigators that Asaram asked her to stay back after prayers at his Jodhpur ashram and then sexually assaulted her.
The police maintain they have strong evidence against the godman.
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Updated Date: Aug 29, 2013 12:31:39 IST