Hardik Patel meets Praveen Togadia, deplores attempts to silence VHP leader

Patel meets Togadia

Hardik Patel, who recently joined with the Congress Party to give a scare to the BJP in Gujarat state elections, said attempts are being made to silence Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia.

Gujarat state Congress President Arjun Modhwadia was also present in the hospital with Patel and Togadia.

“There is a political conspiracy to target him,” Patel said after meeting Togadia in a hospital.

“He has been speaking in favor of farmers, in favor of (building a) Ram temple (at Ayodhya),” said Hardik Patel after the visit.

“There are attempts to shut him up,” he added.

Togadia was found unconscious today in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, apparently due to low blood sugar.

At a press conference, Togadia alleged that the central government was trying to target him for speaking in favor of building a Ram Temple at the site of the Babri Masjid and for advocating ‘cow protection’.

He said he decided to go off the radar after someone from Rajasthan — also a BJP-ruled state — tipped him off that a police team has been sent to deal with him.

He said he was afraid that he will be finished off in an encounter.

“There is an attempt to suppress my voice,” he told media today. “Rajasthan Police team came to arrest me. Someone told me the plan was being made to kill me in an encounter.”

The Congress Party too has extended its support to Togadia.

Manish Doshi a leader of the Congress Party from Gujarat, said it was a matter of grave concern “the way the international president of Vishva Hindu President is being pressurized to keep silent.”

“This is a point of concern for everybody, for democracy,” he said.

Togadia and Modi used to be thick friends until about 2002.

Modi distanced himself from Togadia in an apparent effort to reduce the interference of the leader in government matters. Togadia was also not pleased about Modi government’s decision to prosecute leaders of the Hindu right wing for involvement in the Gujarat riots.

The Congress Party has, meanwhile, been trying to attract Hindu votes in Gujarat in an effort to kick BJP out of power.

Relations between VHP and BJP have taken a turn for the worse after the recent Gujarat elections in which the VHP was seen as not playing an active part to support the BJP.