The BJP on Wednesday came out in support of Swami Paripoornananda and condemned the Telangana government's move to extern him from Hyderabad for the next six months.
The move comes two days after Telangana Police externed film critic Kathi Mahesh from Hyderabad for six months for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus through his alleged derogatory comments on Lord Ram and Sita.
"The BJP condemns the two-day house arrest of Swami Paripoornananda and the decision by the state government to extern him. Many people had demanded action against those who had spoken against Lord Ram and he was one of them. If the government would have taken action earlier, this could have been prevented," BJP President K Laxman told a local media outlet.
Laxman stated that the party would hold an internal meeting and decide their future course of action.
However, when asked about the similar externment of film critic Mahesh Kathi, Laxman told reporters that he had no further comments till the party held an internal meeting.
Demanding that the decision to extern Swami Paripoornananda should be revoked, Laxman said, "The BJP is demanding that all cases against him should also be dropped."
He accused the TRS-led government of ‘double standards,’ asking why no action was taken against AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbaruddin Owaisi.
"Everyone is entitled to their beliefs but they can't insult others in this manner. For political gains, you have stayed silent when AIMIM made such statements, which is why someone like Mahesh Kathi had the guts to make such a statement today," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP National General Secretary, P Muralidhar Rao tweeted, "The decision of Telangana government to extern Swami Paripoornananda is an insult to Hindus and intended to disturb the social harmony. This politically motivated decision is an assault on the human rights of the entire Hindu community.”
"Swami Paripoornananda put under house arrest for planning a 40 km Padayatra in Hyderabad to protest against the most obnoxious comments against Hindu deities in the name of free speech. Strongly condemn KCR govt's Nizam-like action to placate a vote bank," BJP National Spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao had tweeted earlier.
Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad also condemned the police's move.
Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad on Wednesday, VHP leaders demanded that the state government should arrest Kathi Mahesh and revoke the seer's externment. Leaders from Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organizations were also present.
Paripoornananda, who was under house arrest for last two days, was picked up by the police early on Wednesday and was taken out of the city limits. Sources told IANS that he would be dropped at his ashram in Kakinada town in Andhra Pradesh.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar issued Swami's externment order under Telangana Prevention of Anti-Social and Hazardous Activities Act, 1980.
On Monday, film critic Mahesh Kathi was taken out of the city and dropped at his native place in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
The same day police had placed Swami Paripoornanda under house arrest as he had planned to launch 'Darmika Chaitanya Yatra' to protest Mahesh's comments.
The seer had announced the three-day yatra from Shiva Temple in Bodduppal on the outskirts of Hyderabad to Yadadri. Paripoornanda was staying at a house of a real-estate businessman in posh Jubilee Hills.
Several leaders of BJP including former Union Minister and MP Bandaru Dattatreya and local legislator Chintala Ramachandra Reddy had called on him on Tuesday. Leaders of BJP, VHP and other organisations had taken exception to the police action.
The externment order cited several instances of Paripoornanda making statements promoting enmity between communities.
The police said Paripoornanda, who started an organisation 'Rashtriya Hindu Sena' in November 2017, made provocative remarks at meetings at Hyderabad, Kamareddy and other places in Telangana.
(With IANS Inputs)