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Togadia lashes out at the ban

Togadia lashes out at the ban

Author: A Mid Day Correspondent
Publication: Mid-Day
Date: December 23, 2002
URL: http://www.mid-day.com/news/city/2002/december/39835.htm

VHP leader Praveen Togadia today clashed out at the ban imposed by Congress-led DF government in Maharashtra on his speaking at public meetings and said the state could go the Gujarat way.

"Is Miyan Musharraf or Muslim League in power here that a Hindu leader is prevented from making speeches", Togadia, International VHP general secretary, told a press conference in suburban Goregaon where he had come to attend a religious discourse by Sadhvi Ritambhara.

Togadia's reaction followed Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal's assertion that state government has imposed a ban on public speeches of Togadia keeping in view their inflammatory nature.

Togadia said in last four years he had extensively toured Maharashtra and had given numerous public speeches but there was no communal tension and even authorities have not registered any offence against him.

He said ban on his public speeches might be due to Congress' way of avenging against Hindu leaders following the party's dismal performance in Gujarat assembly polls. "It is Hindus that have handed over a crushing defeat to Congress in Gujarat", he said.

"If Maharashtra government imposes a ban on me, then it will also go Congress way as in Gujarat", Togadia said. The VHP leader said he had also addressed rallies in other 14 Congress-ruled states but there were no reports of any communal violence and the governments there had not registered any case against him.

"If there is anything wrong in my speech, then the government can prosecute me. Sonia Gandhi can not be my judge but Indian judiciary can", he said.

Referring to reported ban on his speeches, Togadia said "bhashan to ham denge (I will deliver speeches)".

Togadia said "dogs are allowed to bark, donkeys to bray and mice to squeak but in this land of Chhatrapati Shivaji a Hindu leader is not allowed to deliver speeches".

He also criticised Sonia Gandhi for targetting Hindu leaders instead of "jehadi forces".

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