Hyderabad: The BJP`s Andhra Pradesh unit organised a dharna here on Tuesday, condemning the arrest of Swami Kamalanand Bharathi, the president of the Devalaya (temple) Parirakshana Samithi in Kurnool district yesterday, for his alleged "hate speech" delivered on January 9 at a public meeting in the city here.
The BJP organised a dharna at Narayanaguda cross road and burnt the effigy of Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy alleging that the godman`s arrest was politically motivated.
BJP general secretary and national executive member N Ramachander Rao and Greater Hyderabad BJP president B Venkat Reddy were among party leaders who addressed the dharna.
Addressing the gathering, former union minister and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya alleged that the Swami`s arrest was merely to get the minority community`s sympathy in the wake of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi`s arrest.
Owaisi`s arrest was a big drama and heroic welcome, but Swami`s arrest was totally kept a secret until he was sent to Cherlapally jail, Dattatreya said.
The Congress government wants to exhibit its secular credentials by arresting Swami for balancing the sentiments of both communities, he alleged.
BJP leaders who addressed the gathering demanded that the state government release Swami immediately and withdraw the false case registered against him.
They warned the state government that the BJP would launch a state-wide agitation if it continued with the same attitude.