Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Uma Bharti on Thursday said that the rape charge levelled by a teenage girl against Asaram Bapu could be "politically motivated" as he had been critical of the top Congress leadership.
"Asaram used to criticise Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi in a bold manner. In both Rajasthan and Delhi, the Congress is in power. I have a feeling that there might be some political motive behind the issue," Bharti told a hurriedly called press conference at her residence.
The controversial self-styled godman was booked by Delhi police two days ago for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a Jodhpur ashram recently.
The spokesperson of Asaram Bapu's ashram has already denied the charge.
"I have full sympathy with the victim and if (the allegations are found to be) true, I would be the first person to punish Bapu. You know, in the Jayendra Saraswathi case, how he became the victim of a political conspiracy," Bharti said.
She was referring to two different murder cases that were filed against Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth Shankracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi in 2002 and 2004.
The senior BJP leader said Asaram had told her that he was innocent and he would prove his innocence.
Bharti said she was ready to meet the girl and discuss the matter with her in private if her parents allow her to do so.
"I came forward because in the Jayendra Saraswathi case, nothing was proved and ultimately the complainant withdrew the charge against him," she said.
The Kamla Market police, who registered the case against the 74-year-old self-styled godman on the teenage girl's complaint, have transferred the case to Jodhpur.
Photograph Courtesy: http://www.ashram.org/