Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] on Tuesday met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries and discussed the Malegaon blast probe and the arrest of sadhvi Pragya Thakur in connection with the blast.
Modi, who was in Delhi [Images] to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the assembly election, went to the RSS office before kick-starting his road show and public meetings, sources said.
Though RSS chief R Sudarshan was not part of the meeting, Modi held long discussions with other senior functionaries and discussed the arrest of the sadhvi and how to handle the issue.
The development comes to days after Sudarshan had deviated from the BJP's stand and disowned saffron activists allegedly involved in terrorism.
'Someone who kills innocent people cannot be a religious person. Punish them if they are found guilty. We are not going to support anyone involved in terrorist activities,' he had said on Sunday.
His comments were in contrast to the sympathetic position taken by BJP chief Rajnath Singh and prime ministerial candidate L K Advani [Images]. The former had said no Hindu could be a terrorist while the latter demanded a probe into allegations of torture made by Pragya made against the ATS.
After the meeting, Modi went on to campaign in several localities in Delhi and the Malegaon issue figured in all his speeches. He said the Gujarat police had requested to interrogate the Malegaon blasts accused but it was denied permission. "When terrorists were caught in Gujarat, we allowed them to be interrogated by other states. But when we wanted to question the Malegaon accused, Maharashtra did not allow us," he said.
"The Centre does not allow my state to have a GUJCOCA on the lines of MCOCA (an act to control organised crime). When our police arrests terrorists, it gets to keep them in custody for 14 days. When the Maharashtra police attest a sadhu or a sadhvi, they get to keep them in custody for 180 days," he said.
Advani, who also campaigned in the city, also spent a large part of his speech talking about the Malegaon blasts, defendning Pragya and demanding a probe into the issue.