Varun Gandhi unapologetic, claims CD doctored (Lead)

March 18th, 2009 - 2:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) An unrepentant Varun Gandhi asserted Wednesday that he was a “Gandhi, a Hindu and an Indian” in equal measure and said the CD showing him making an inflammatory speech was doctored.
“I am proud of my faith, and am not apologising for it,” Varun Gandhi told reporters while reading out a written statement, a day after being slapped with a criminal case for his alleged hate-Muslim campaign speeches.

“I am a Gandhi, a Hindu and an Indian in equal measure and my attempt was not to spread ill-feeling against any community and I stand by all religion and all faiths,” said the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate from Pilibhit constituency in Uttar Pradesh whose provocative speeches stunned everybody, including his own party.

“I am a victim of a political conspiracy… Those are not my words, that is not my voice. I want to ask the nation to stand by me,” Varun Gandhi said.

Calling himself a proud Hindu, the 29-year-old said since the announcement of parliamentary elections, his constituency, vacated by his mother Maneka Gandhi, had been witness to communally provocative incidents.

“No action has been taken against thousands and thousands arrested under the National Security Act. Three temples have been vandalised in Pilibit and several village pradhans (heads) have been threatened.”

“Slaughtered remains of cows have been found in several houses in the area and arms have been smuggled to be used against India.”

He said his attempt was to restore confidence among the community in Pilibhit “which is under siege in its own country”.

Declaring that India was a big country with a big heart, the ‘other Gandhi’ said the CD was supposed to have been based on a speech given on March 4 but released on March 16.

“Who has made it (CD)? It has been doctored and is a malicious attempt to brand me communal. There is no question of my having differences with any community. Where was the CD for 12 days and why was it released on March 16?” he queried.

After the provocative speeches were aired on television, Varun Gandhi has found himself out in the cold with even the BJP distancing itself.

He was booked by police in Uttar Pradesh under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the People’s Representative Act for “promoting enmity” and acts “prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.

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