Modi meets Bhagwat, Singhal; VHP denies ‘deal’

Narendra Modi

Hindu Dharmaacharya Sabha was also attended by Ramdev.

Amid speculation of BJP trying to "patch up" with Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) ahead of Assembly polls, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and senior VHP leader Ashok Singhal met on Wednesday at a religious function in a gurukul in Chharodi village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

However, VHP's Pravin Togadia, who was also expected, did not turn up.

The function organised by Hindu Dharmaacharya Sabha at Swaminarayan

Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam (SGVP) was closely guarded and media was kept out. This was the second of the three-day meet of religious leaders being held here.

According to sources, about 100 religious leaders from across the country were attending the function whose main organisers included Rajkot-based religious guru Parmanandji.

Though Singhal attended the function, Gujarat VHP denied having links with the organisers.

Ranchodbhai Bharwad, the general secretary of Gujarat VHP, said it was a religious function and VHP members were guests. "The speculation of VHP patching up with BJP has no basis at all," he said.

This is the second meeting between Modi and Bhagwat in the last few weeks.

VHP has reportedly been upset about the convictions in the 2002 riots cases, especially that of former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi.

Phone calls and messages to Togadia remained unanswered.

Also among those who attended the function was senior BJP leader Balbir Punj and yoga guru Baba Ramdev. However, Ramdev left before Modi arrived at the venue.

RSS chief ducks Gadkari question

Asked about the controversy surrounding BJP president Nitin Gadkari's companies, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said it was the internal issue of the party. "Political people will look into it...the party will look into it."

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