Finance Minister P Chidambaram does not think that Narendra Modi has been given clean chit by courts in 2002 Gujarat riots and says the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate has steadfastly refused to acknowledge his “moral and political accountability” for them.
He says it was disappointing that Modi was unwilling to “apologise” for the riots. The undercurrent of his cross- country campaign is majoritarianism and Congress will give a befitting reply to it, says Chidambaram.
“No, I don’t think so. There are two aspects to what happened in 2002. One is legal culpability. The other is moral and political accountability. On the first, the matter is still in court. A court has accepted an SIT report but that has been challenged in a higher court. But I won’t say anything more on that.
“But on the second, I am absolutely clear in my mind that the political and moral accountability rests with the Chief Minister. He was Chief Minister for several months when it happened. Yet in the last 12 years, he has refused to acknowledge his moral and political accountability. And what is more disappointing is his unwillingness to even utter the words — I apologise,” he said.
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Chidambaram was asked whether he believed Modi has been finally cleared of all charges by courts in the 2002 riots. When asked about his reference to majoritarianism in his Budget speech and whether India’s multi-religious and diverse society could come under attack from him, the Finance Minister said, “If Mr Modi defends majoritarianism, we will give him a befitting reply. Majoritarianism is not a way of governance. Majoritarianism is opposed to the democratic way of governance.”