Former VHP leader Pravin Togadia, who is going to sit on an indefinite fast here from Tuesday, kept up his attack on Narendra Modi on Monday saying the Prime Minister is going abroad when “daughters are not safe”. The state spokesperson of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, meanwhile, came out in Togadia’s support, claiming that the entire Gujarat unit was behind the firebrand leader.
“Today our soldiers are not safe on borders, farmers are committing suicide and our daughters are not safe in their homes. And yet, our Prime Minister has embarked on a foreign tour,” Togadia said told reporters. Modi today embarked on a five-day visit to Sweden and the UK.
Togadia quit the VHP after former Himachal Pradesh governor V S Kokje was elected as VHP’s international president, defeating Togadia’s nominee Raghava Reddy, two days ago. In an apparent show of strength, Togadia, a former international working president of the VHP, would sit on indefinite fast.
As many as 5,000 district-level VHP workers who support Togadia have quit the right-wing outfit, Gujarat VHP spokesperson Jay Shah claimed. “The entire Gujarat unit of the VHP is behind Togadia. That is why around 5,000 VHP workers and local leaders have already tendered their resignations. To remind the BJP of its own promises, Togadia will begin his indefinite fast from tomorrow,” Shah said.
“Through this fast, Togadia just wants to remind the BJP that building Ram Temple or abolition of Article 370 was in the party’s manifesto. VHP or Togadia are not demanding anything new,” he added. The fast would be held at the GMDC ground here, said Rajubhai Patel, another VHP spokesperson.
While speculation is rife that the firebrand Hindutva leader would launch a new outfit, Togadia remained tight-lipped on his plans, only saying that the picture will be clear after Tuesday. Modi and Togadia, both of whom hail from Gujarat and started out as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers, drifted apart in the last decade with Modi’s rise.
On Sunday Togadia had said that in 2014 elections, VHP offered full support to Modi, but after becoming prime minister, Modi termed gau-rakshaks as ‘Gundas’ (goons). “Eleven cow-protectors in Jharkhand were given life imprisonment (by a court) after his statement. This hadn’t even happened under the Congress government,” Togadia had said. “This government has taken back cases against Pakistan-supporters and stone-pelters in Kashmir,” he had claimed.