As Prime Minister Narendra Modi played host to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in his home state on Wednesday, his once-close aide and VHP leader Pravin Togadia here accused Modi of conspiring with the Ahmedabad Crime Branch to harass him and VHP supporters.
“J.K. Bhatt (Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner, Crime Branch) has begun hatching a conspiracy against me and harassing our nationalist workers at the behest of political bosses in Delhia. In the last 15 days, how many times has Bhatt spoken with the PM? Their call details must be made public,” Togadia, Acting President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, told reporters after his discharge from a private hospital in the evening.
Togadia, who was once known to be close to Modi, was referring to Bhatt’s press conference on Tuesday where he presented police investigation details to show that the VHP leader’s story – that he had fallen unconscious and was admitted to a private hospital — was all made-up.
The firebrand Hindu leader had gone “missing” on Monday and emerged from a private hospital some 10 hours later in a reportedly unconscious state as his sugar levels fell drastically.
Togadia had claimed that a team of the Rajasthan Police had come for him in a shut 10-year-old case, though there was no instruction from Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje or state Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria for this.
He had claimed there was a conspiracy to kill him and this was hatched jointly by the Crime Branch and the Rajasthan Police. “I have received communication from Rajasthan that the case in which I was supposed to be arrested was withdrawn in 2015. Then under whose instructions and who had come to arrest me? It appears Bhatt is acting under influence of political bosses in Delhi,” he said.
Togadia, who went on to call Modi his “old friend”, urged him not to take steps that would lead to killing of democracy. “Is this a crime branch or conspiracy branch? I have called my lawyer and shall initiate legal action against Crime Branch,” he said.
“This Crime Branch is also releasing selective videos to television channels to sully my image. I want to tell the country that similar video of Sanjay Joshi in 2005 was made here. I shall reveal the names at an appropriate time.” He was referring to the leak of a video of his whereabouts on Monday showing him in fine fettle.
Bhatt of the Crime Branch has stated that Togadia was hale and hearty when he called in an ambulance van to admit him in the private hospital and was not missing at all. Bhatt on Tuesday presented to the media a blow-by-blow account of where the VHP leader went during the day and how he managed to get himself admitted in a private hospital though nothing had happened to him.