Hate speech row: Uma Bharti defends Togadia after Maharashtra Police files FIR

Nagpur, Feb. 8 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharti on Friday came out in full defence of firebrand Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia after the Maharashtra Police filed a First Information Report against him for his alleged hate speech made at a rally last month.

"His comments should be considered. And his comment should be compared with Akbaruddin Owaisi only if the two of them have spoken in the same manner. It should not be seen in respect of the fact that an action has been initiated against Akbaruddin Owaisi, so an action should be taken against Togadia also. The CDs of the comments made by the two should be seen and it should be found out as to who has said what," said Bharti.

"I would like to tell the Maharashtra Government that just because there was an investigation against Owaisi, an investigation should be conducted on Togadiaji as well is not right. So, we should first see as to what Togadiaji has said," she added.

Asserting that law and order is a state subject, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh yesterday said the Maharashtra Government must take action against Togadia if his speech is inflammatory because everybody is equal in the eyes of law.

"Well, as you know law and order is a state subject. All state governments have free choice to take action and are bound to take action if anybody raises inflammatory speeches. And I am sure the state government will take the appropriate action in any case because everybody is equal in the eyes of law," he said.

At a public meeting at Bhokar town in Maharashtra's Nanded district on January 22- details of which are now surfacing after a video-recording was posted online- Togadia had allegedly attacked Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi and members of a particular community.

Owaisi was sent to jail on charges of delivering a hate speech at Nirmal town in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh last month. (ANI)

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