Ahmedabad: "What kind of friend is this chief minister? Let's see for how many days you are going to be on the throne. World knows with whose help you have reached this stage. Time will teach a lesson to the goons, newspaper owners and the chief minister, I expect the results to come in five to six days or in a month. If that doesn't happen, I will shave off my moustaches and beard, says religious leader Asaram Bapu.
A spiritual leader now preaching anything but peace. Asaram Bapu taking pot shots at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after Gujarat police filed an FIR against him and took action against his supporters.
Asaram Bapu's former aide has alleged that he was attacked at the godman's behest.
Asaram is not new to controversy. Just last year, two boys from ashram were found dead under mysterious circumstances. A CID inquiry was ordered after a furore over the deaths. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also set up a judicial commission to probe the incident.
However, the godman alleges that there is a vendetta against him.
Asharam Bapu is known to have strong links with political parties. But with public sentiments growing against the godman and also the recent attack on the police by his supporters, even the chief minister has not refrained from taking action against Asharam and his men. The chief minister feels that inaction could translate into a major law and order issue in the state.
What proved to be the final straw was the attack by Aasaram Bapu's supporters on policemen in Gandhinagar alleging that their guru had been framed.
A dozen policemen were injured after which the police raided the godman's ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
However, that has upset sections of the Sangh Parivar. VHP leader Ashok Singhal rushed to Gandhinagar and met the chief minister on the issue.
Commenting on the incident, VHP leader Ashok Singhal said, "For a Raja his true religion is to protect the Hindu institutions, the Hindu saints, and ensure that they are respected."
The Gujarat police have registered a case against Asaram under Section 307 which deals with attempt to murder. The godman has dared Modi to arrest him. The battle lines are clearly drawn for a showdown between the godman and Sangh's Hindutva poster boy.
Story First Published: December 08, 2009 20:29 IST