28, Oct 2015
A Kerala High Court lawyer by profession, Viswanath is also the all-India joint coordinator of a helpline set up by the VHP to help “victims of love jihad”.
Written by Liz Mathew | Delhi | Updated: October 28, 2015 9:14 am
On a day when news websites and television channels flashed pictures of him with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, Pratheesh Viswanath, 34, was busy dodging some uncomfortable questions. For, Viswanath, seen as the catalyst in bringing the BJP and the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam together in Kerala, is now in the limelight for his alleged role in “orchestrating” the police raid at Kerala House.
According to BJP sources in Kerala, Viswanath is a “climber who played his cards well with the national leadership and the media”. But on Tuesday, he was busy clarifying he had no role in the raid. Meanwhile in Kerala, both the BJP and the SNDP distanced themselves from Viswanath, saying he was “only a translator” during their talks.
“Some friends sent me a picture of the menu. I posted it on my Facebook page. I did not know it would create such an uproar. I came to know when CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan protested against it,” he told The Indian Express.
When told that Hindu Sena activists were claiming he had informed them, Viswanath said he would take “legal action” against them. “I have never seen Kerala House; I have been a vegan since I started working with the VHP,” he said.
A Kerala High Court lawyer by profession, Viswanath is also the all-India joint coordinator of a helpline set up by the VHP to help “victims of love jihad”. “I have worked with the VHP in tribal areas for 10 years. I made a lot of contacts then. I am very close to VHP leaders (Praveen) Togadia and (Ashok) Singhal,” he claimed. “Personally, I am close to general secretary of the SNDP (Tushar Vellappally),” he added.