Ahmedabad: He went missing on Monday, was found later in an Ahmedabad hospital the same day and on Tuesday in a press conference alleged that attempts were being made to silence his voice. Soon after people were lining up to meet Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international president Pravin Togadia.
Among the notable visitors were the Congress' Arjun Modhvadia, Patidar leader Hardik Patel and retired Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara.
The Congress has been extremely critical of leaders like Togadia over the past several years and Modhvadia's visit raised several eyebrows.
Speaking to News18, Arjun Modhvadia said: "This visit was only on humanitarian grounds because he is not keeping well and unlike the BJP which has a culture of eliminating people who do not fall in line, the Congress believes that nobody who is against you is anti-national."
Curiously, senior Congress leaders, like Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Bharatsinh Solanki and AICC secretary in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot also echoed the same sentiment.
Soon after, Hardik Patel, whose Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) extended support to Congress during the recent Gujarat Assembly elections, reached the hospital to meet Togadia, who is also a Patidar.
"Hardik Patel said that Dr Pravin Togadia is being targeted because he has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. It is a known fact that the BJP and RSS leadership were not in favour of Dr Togadia being re-elected as the international president of the VHP in Bhubaneswar a fortnight ago... There ought to be an independent investigation into the allegations that Dr Pravin Togadia has made," Hardik Patel said.
Togadia, during his press conference, had alleged that "people do not want me to talk of Hindutva and Ram Mandir" and that a conspiracy to eliminate him was in the works.
"When the appropriate time comes, I will state who wants to silence my voice. I will give proof," said Togadia.
Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara said that the contribution of the VHP leader for the cause of Hindutva has been immense and the state government ought to properly investigate the allegations made by him.
The BJP refused to be drawn into any controversy and played it straight.
"The matter is being investigated by the police. The outcome of the investigations will be conveyed to you by the security agencies," said state BJP President Jitu Vaghani.