Vishwa Hindu Parishad international president Ashok Singhal made an unannounced visit to Gujarat on the occasion of Holi on Monday, surprising many.
He called on Chief Minister Narendra Modi. What transpired at the half-hour meeting was not known immediately, but sources close to the Chief Minister’s Office said it was merely a courtesy call.
Mr. Singhal also met some other senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The relations between the VHP and Mr. Modi have been strained ever since the outfit, following its international general-secretary Pravin Togadia, turned against the Chief Minister, particularly over police harassment of its activists allegedly involved in the 2002 communal riots.
Personal equations between Mr. Modi and Mr. Singhal have also deteriorated lately, after the VHP leader, during his last visit to Gujarat, insisted on letting Hindu religious leader Asaram Bapu off the hook in the case of the death of two young boys under mysterious circumstances at his ashram at Motera on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The police case against the ashram and some of its followers has not been withdrawn so far.
Raid on farm house
In another development, seven persons were arrested in a police raid on the farm house of a senior BJP leader in Gandhinagar, for alleged violation of the prohibition law. The police said liquor was flowing at a party there and bar girls brought from Mumbai and Kolkata were found dancing to entertain some industrialists.