Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on Thursday suggested that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul were behind the rape allegations that have been levelled against him.
Denying that he was being shielded by political parties, Asaram said he was ready to go to jail if found guilty.
"I do not have any political support. Do not irritate me," ANI quoted him as saying.
Asaram alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi could be behind the 'current situation', saying he was told that it was at their (Gandhis) behest that the allegations were levelled against him.
"Log mujhe keh rahe hai ki Madam ke ishare par, suputra ke ishare par yeh sab kuch ho raha."
When asked if he was directly blaming Gandhi for the attack, Asaram back-tracked saying no political party was involved.
The Congress, however, said it was hilarious to presume that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were behind the allegations against the spiritual leader.
"It's a baseless accusation. Asaram Bapu should apologize to Soniaji and to the nation as well," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
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.
Asaram Bapu has been booked under Sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC, Section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Updated Date: Aug 29, 2013 17:27 PM