Varun Gandhi denies making communal remarks

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi on Tuesday strongly denied having made any communal or divisive statements and said it was an attempt to malign his image.

"I strongly refute the charge of making any communal or divisive statements as part of my election campaign. In this climate of terrorism, I have spoken only about standing firm against anti-national and anti-social forces that threaten this nation," Gandhi said in a statement.

Varun is contesting from the Pilibhit constituency.

The BJP leader further said that he was well aware of his responsibility to the nation.

"Coming from a family that has been part of India's history for the last century, I am well aware of my responsibility to the nation and would never jeopardize its strength and unity. Perhaps my opponents sensed an opportunity in the candidature of a young and inexperienced rookie," he added.

Varun also asked the authorities to get to the bottom of this conspiracy.

"I express full confidence in the authorities to get to the bottom of this conspiracy and severely punish those who would malign and thwart a young person willing and able to contribute to the process of building a strong, yet just tolerant and inclusive society," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Election Commission filed a criminal case under non-bailable law against Varun Gandhi for his inflammatory speech against Muslims in Pilibhit.

On March 6, at an election meeting in his constituency Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi had said, "All Hindus should remain on one side and send the rest to Pakistan."

"They have names such as Karimullah, Mazurullah. If you see them in the night you would get scared," he added.

Varun has also come under attack from within the party and its allies.

The BJP Vice President Mukthar Abbas Naqvi on Monday said that Varun's remarks were a manifestation of his Congress past.

"Whatever is being shown on television channels, our party completely disagrees with it. We believe that whoever tries to dismantle the social fabric, to gain political mileage is not agreeable at all and the Election Commission will take action on it," Naqvi said.

Another BJP leader Shanawaz Hussain said the party completely disowned the incident and had nothing to do with the remarks made by Varun.

"This is not the opinion of Bharatiya Janata Party and there have been no instances when any of the BJP leaders have ever made such remarks. We completely disown this incident. The BJP will detach itself from him. Party has nothing to do with his remarks," Hussain said. (ANI)

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