Will Varun Gandhi be arrested in Pilibhit?March 28th, 2009 - 11:04 am ICT by IANS
Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), March 28 (IANS) A large number of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers gathered in Pilibhit Saturday morning waiting for Varun Gandhi to arrive and possibly get arrested for reportedly making hate speeches.
Party sources said that senior BJP leader Kalraj Misra had been sent to Pilibhit, around 350 km from Lucknow, to mobilise crowds as the high command wishes to turn it into a “big event” that could propel this ‘other Gandhi’ scion into another Hindutva mascot.
Varun, along with other senior BJP leaders, left New Delhi late Friday night and is expected to reach Pilibhit later Saturday. Security forces have also been deployed at the Khamariya bridge at the Pilibhit border and the Sungarhi police station has been put on high alert, officials said.
The BJP has planned a “grand road” show when Varun Gandhi reaches this district to court arrest, party sources said.
Varun Gandhi courted controversy after his reported hate speeches, which he claims were doctored, early this month during election rallies in the Pilibhit.
The 29-year-old BJP nominee from Pilibhit Friday withdrew his bail application from the Delhi High Court and said he would “court arrest”. The Election Commission had asked for a criminal charge to be filed against him for his anti-Muslim speeches.
Asked what the BJP would do if the police did not take Varun Gandhi into custody, a top state party leader had said Friday: “The kind of crowd that is converging for Varun’s show in Pilibhit tomorrow will be enough to provoke the cops to arrest him.”
But police sources say there are minimal chances of Varun Gandhi being arrested.
“The investigations are on and the police also has the option to arrest anyone after completion of the investigation. Besides, we are also acting very carefully due the election environment in the country,” a senior police officer in Lucknow told IANS on condition of anonymity.
While Varun Gandhi would be staging his arrest in Pilibhit Saturday, BJP’s prime ministerial nominee L.K. Advani would be addressing his first public rally in the state at Maharajganj, where the party’s saffron-clad Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath holds sway.
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