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Arrested,Muthalik bats for BJP,he shared stage with political bigwigs day after attack

With public outrage mounting over the attack on girls in a Mangalore pub,the Karnataka police today arrested Pramod Muthalik....

Written by Suman K Jha | New Delhi |
January 28, 2009 4:30:42 pm

With public outrage mounting over the attack on girls in a Mangalore pub,the Karnataka police today arrested Pramod Muthalik,president of the right wing Sri Rama Sene which claimed responsibility for the attack,along with other key leaders including vice-president Prasad Attavar,deputy convenor Subhash Padil. The BJP and Sangh Parivar sought to distance themselves from the Sri Rama Sene but Muthalik,always at the centrestage of politics,told reporters in Belgaum before his arrest that “the Congress is trying to politicise the situation to give the BJP a bad name” ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Last Sunday,he addressed the Bahubhashik Brahmin Mahaadhiveshan (multi-lingual Brahmin meet) in Pune that was attended,among others,by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,Swami Ramdev,Suresh Prabhu and three Shankaracharyas. Muthalik spoke on why Brahmins should not marry outside the community fold.

“We wanted to honour those who have done the community proud with the Brahmkirti Puraskar. While Sheila Dikshit beat all odds to win a second term in Delhi,Bahujan Samaj Party’s Satish Chandra Mishra pioneered the concept of social engineering in north India. Digambar Kamat is today the only other Brahmin CM besides Dikshit. This is the reason we invited them to the function,” Moreshwar Ghaisas Guruji,associated with drawing the invitees’ list for the two-day meet,told The Indian Express. Mishra failed to turn up,Kamat sent a deputy while Dikshit inaugurated the meet.

Asked why she was there,Dikshit said: “I went there only because (Congress leader and Pune MP) Suresh Kalmadi insisted that I come. I went there only when I was told that Sushil Kumar Shinde had been honoured in one of the earlier meets of the organisation. How can anyone even think of me being a leader of any one community? If various associations like the Vaishya Samaj or some Muslim body invite me,I do go there,” she told The Indian Express.

Asked if she saw Muthalik there,Dikshit said “as a leader” she meets “hundreds of people everyday”. “Am I expected to know everyone whom I meet? I didn’t know about the man you are talking about. But if he’s the same man behind the vandalism (in Mangalore),he needs to condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

In Pune,there is talk that Kalmadi and the Congress tried to steal the thunder from the saffron parties by reaching out to the four-lakh Brahmin voter base there via the two-day gathering. Kalmadi was not available for comment.

Ghaisas Guruji,who runs an institution to impart Vedic education in Pune,said: “While we were organising a local meet in Dharwad (in Karnataka),we were told Muthalik should be invited to the Pune meet because he had been doing good work among the Brahmins. We didn’t known about his background at all. We were taken aback when we learnt the truth about him from television.” — (With ENS reports from Pune,Bangalore)

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