BJP condemns attacks on its offices, Vedanti retracts remarks

By Rajeev Khanna, IANS

Bhopal : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday condemned attacks on its offices in Tamil Nadu and criticised the DMK for “political fascism” even as its former MP Ram Vilas Vedanti said his remarks – announcing bounty on DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s head – were misquoted.

Support TwoCircles

Some BJP offices and party workers faced the wrath of DMK activists in the southern state following media reports quoting Vedanti, described as a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, as saying that saints in Ayodhya would weigh in gold anyone who beheads Karunanidhi for his remarks against Lord Ram and the Ram Sethu.

While Vedanti sent a clarification to the three-day BJP national executive meeting here on its last day Sunday, the party distanced itself from his comments and clarification.

In his letter, Vedanti said he was misquoted in the media. “Saints never believe in violence,” he said.

BJP president Rajnath Singh told media persons, “The BJP neither accepts nor supports Vedanti’s statement.”

He demanded that strict legal action be taken against those involved in the attack on the BJP offices and the party workers in Tamil Nadu, and appealed to party cadres to remain peaceful.

“The party has unanimously condemned the attacks. Former BJP president L.K. Advani has had a word with union home minister (Shivraj Patil) and our leader Ravi Shankar Prasad has talked to the Tamil Nadu police chief,” he said.

Referring to Karunanidhi’s controversial comments, Rajnath Singh said, “Freedom of speech does not allow blasphemy. Violence has no place in a democracy.”

He attacked the DMK chief and the Tamil Nadu chief minister for questioning Ram’s existence and using derogatory language against the hero of Hindu epic Ramayana.

“They (DMK) could have protested in a peaceful manner, not by violence. Since DMK is an ally of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government at the centre, we demand that the UPA ask the DMK to stop its workers from resorting to violence. If the situation worsens, the UPA will be responsible for it,” said Rajnath Singh.

On the issue of Ram Sethu and the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal project, he said, “The BJP will provide active support to the Rameshwaram Ram Setu Raksha Manch, which is leading the movement for the preservation of Ram Sethu.”