Etah/New Delhi: After remaining behind bars for 20 days, Varun Gandhi was released from the Etah jail in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday evening hours after the Supreme Court (SC) ordered that the young BJP leader detained under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) be granted a two-week parole on the condition he will not make any more inflammatory speeches.
The reprieve for the 29-year-old estranged member of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the form of temporary bail was given by the apex court to enable him to campaign for Lok Sabha polls after it said he would not indulge in any conduct likely to disturb communal harmony. Varun is contesting from Pilibhit in UP which goes to polls in the final phase on 13 May and 24 April is the last date for filing nominations.
Dressed in a maroon kurta, a sober and restrained Varun briskly walked out of the Etah prison at 6.25pm and got into a waiting black sports utility vehicle where his mother and BJP MP Maneka Gandhi anxiously waited for him. He did not speak to waiting newsmen but greeted his supporters with folded hands and also waved at them.
Hundreds of supporters, who had assembled outside the jail since afternoon after Varun’s release became imminent, raised slogans in his support.
Shortly before he was released, a tough talking Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati warned in Lucknow that even more stringent action would be taken against him if he violates his undertaking not to make inflammatory speeches.
Describing Varun as a “threat” to law and order, she said a close watch would be kept on the activities of Varun detained under the National Security Act.