New Delhi: A day after being released from jail on parole, Bharatiya Janata Party's Lok Sabha candidate from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi said on Friday that he had never advocated violence in politics but would continue to raise voice against "anti-national forces".
Varun Gandhi, charged under the National Security Act (NSA) for purportedly delivering speeches that vilified Muslims, was released on two-weeks' parole by the Supreme Court on Thursday after he gave an undertaking that he would not deliver hate speeches.
He reached New Delhi on Thursday night by a chartered plane from Agra, but did not speak to the media.
DEEP FOCUS: BJP leader Varun Gandhi waves to his supporters after coming out of Etah jail on Thursday.
"Let me make it clear I do not and never have advocated violence as a tool in politics. What I have advocated, and firmly stand by is that all Indians should unite to face the threat of terrorism (from) neighbouring countries. We need to rise and face this menace boldly and I shall continue to raise my voice against anti-national forces," a statement released here Friday quoted him as saying.
He also welcomed the Supreme Court decision.
"I welcome this relief by the Supreme Court and look forward to shortly being fully vindicated by the highest court of the land in regard to this illegal detention. I should also like to answer all the other false charges being made against me," he said in the statement.
The BJP leader also said that his family has always been strengthened by times of adversity.
"The immediate task is to help return a government that will be in the best interests of India. My heartfelt thanks go to the BJP and millions of Indians both here and abroad for the support they have given me throughout this difficult time. History shows that my family has always been strengthened by times of adversity. I too am being tested and shall not be found wanting," he said.
BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said Gandhi would file his nomination from Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit seat April 21.
BJP president Rajnath Singh has already welcomed Varun's release and said that he would "certainly" campaign for the party.
Varun Gandhi was arrested March 28. He has challenged his booking under the NSA.