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‘We will use NOTA option’

Asaram Bapu’s disciples will use NOTA in the forthcoming assembly election against BJP as the party fails to defend the self-styled godman.

Aasharam-LeadWhen BJP had promised to work for the welfare of Hindu community and justice to Hindu saints, Asaram bapus’s disciples came forward to vote for the saffron party. They also were expecting that Asaram Bapu might be granted bail during the reign of BJP. Even though Swami Aseemanand and Maya Kodnani have been granted bail but Bapu is still serving his jail term. As a result of this, Bapu’s followers are disappointed with the BJP and they are likely to use ‘NOTA’ option to express their displeasure against the party. Swami Aseemanand is one of the accused of Samjhauta Express blast while Maya Kodnani is an accused in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case. Many accused have been released from jail but there is no relief for Asaram Bapu. According to Bapu’s disciples he is has become very old and should be released from jail on humanitarian grounds. They are also upset with political parties for maligning his reputation.

The Supreme Court had passed a landmark judgement where voters can reject all candidates contesting election in their constituency. Thus Bapu’s supporters want to use this option as a means to take revenge against those parties which has been tarnishing his image. Asaram Bapu’s supporters are miffed with both the national parties as one of them had trapped him while the other refused to support to him. Bapu has sought release on bail on the ground that police have already filed a charge-sheet.

Sarvesh-LeadSarvesh Chaurasia a disciple of Asaram Bapu said, ”We are around 5 to 6 lakh people in Mumbai. We will be fielding our own candidate or else use the Right to Reject option. It will send shivers across the political arena of Maharashtra.”

Nitesh Dubey, a disciple of Asaram Bapu said, “I trust Asaram Bapu and also offer support to him. All political party wants to malign his reputation. I will definitely use the NOTA option in the forthcoming assembly election.”

Santosh Ray, a Asaram disciple from Kandivali said, “If Asaram Bapu is innocent and his disciples will chose the Right to Reject option then I will definitely use it.”

Yudhistir Pandey, a disciple from Malad said, “If people feel that Asaram Bapu is innocent and political parties are tarnishing his image then every supporter needs to use the Right to reject option. So that political parties will learn that they doing injustice against Asaram Bapu.”

Sudhir Shah, a supporter of Asaram Bapu from Ulhasnagar said, “We will boycott the assembly election. Our aim is to release Bapu behind the bars.”

Kalpana Ashiyani, “If bapu is right and innocent then we disciple are ready to support him. This time we will not vote for any politician.”

Sunil Wankhede, President of Mumbai Ashram said, “If the disciple of Asharam Bapu will chose the Right to Reject option then they can opt for it. But Bapu himself is yet to issue any official statement pertaining to this. Our main intention is to release Asaram Bapu from jail. Some of his supporters are holding demonstrations and also are seeking legal assistance.”

A Surat-based woman has accused him of rape. Asaram’s petition, however, argues that the complaint was filed after 11 years and it was malafide. Even after the alleged rape in 2001, the woman continued to stay at Asaram’s ashram here till 2007, it says. The trial court had in January rejected his bail application. The woman’s younger sister has accused Asaram’s son Narayan Sai of rape. Asaram (72) is currently in Jodhpur jail after being arrested in September last year for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.

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