Clean chit to Modi in 2002 riots premature: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said that Modi should be a legal accountable for the clear failure of governance under during the riots.

New Delhi | Updated: March 16, 2014 5:38 pm

Hitting out at Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi on Sunday demanded “legal accountability” for the “clear and inexcusable failure” of governance during the 2002 Gujarat riots and dismissed talk of clean chit to him as “politically expedient” but “far too premature”.

Contending that Modi was answerable on moral grounds, the Congress’ chief campaigner said, “beyond that there should be a legal accountability for the clear and inexcusable failure of governance under him”.

Gandhi was answering a question during an interview to PTI on BJP’s contention that Modi had been given a clean chit by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT and the courts and, therefore, he had nothing to answer for or apologise for about the post-Godhra riots.

He replied, “As you know, the SIT report had been seriously questioned by a number of credible experts. Grave flaws have been pointed out in the functioning of the SIT. The acceptance of the flawed SIT report by the lowest court has not yet been subjected to judicial scrutiny by higher courts.

“The specific allegation and evidence pointing to Mr Modi’s responsibility in the 2002 riots are yet to be adequately probed. Any talk of his having been given a clean chit may be politically expedient, but is far too premature. There are many unanswered questions. There is a lot more the country needs to know,” he said.

Gandhi did not see Lok Sabha elections as virtually a presidential-style contest between him and Modi and said, “it is a clash between two ideas of India.” He contended that the Congress represented an idea which “respects the liberty and dignity of everyone of our countrymen by upholding the ideals of humanity and inclusion”, whereas the BJP wanted an India “in which there is no place for the poor, no place for those with a different religion or ideology.

The Congress leader said that the BJP seeks to “suppress large numbers of India’s ideas” and wanted “an India in which power is centralised in the hands of individuals. It is a clash between these two ideas of India.” The Gandhi-scion added, “The ideas that Mr Modi represents are dangerous for India.”

To a question that people appeared to be disappointed with the lacklustre performance of the UPA government and favoured a strong leader like Modi, he said, “yes, I believe that India needs a ‘strong’ leader but we must have a deeper understanding of what ‘strength’ means.

“Strength to me, is not brute force or the ability to bulldoze your way through decision making in an autocratic manner….I do believe that an autocratic mindset that believes in dispensing with whatever is inconvenient to its notions is dangerous because such people tend to disregard what is right for what is expedient.”

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  1. M
    Mar 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm
    Applying the same yardsticks will Rahul hi tell the nation whether his father (late) Rajeev hi (as PM then) and the Congress party is "legally accountable" for the "clear and inexcusable " of governance during the GENOCIDE of the sikhs in 1984. when about 3000 of them were butchered in just 2 days. Let me also make it clear I don't buy that excuse "Rajeev hi was mourning !" Well, if he could put his grief aside and take the oath of the office of the PM of India -- and he was no Indian equivalent of the Prince of Wales of Britain that he hurriedly had to be sworn in --- then he ought to have put his grief aside to protect the sikhs. Will he explain, when under Modi ( from whom apologies & explanations are sought) the Gujarat police could shoot and kill over a 180 rioters of whom more than 65% were Hindus, why the Delhi police under Congressman Rajeev hi failed to shoot and kill or wound a single rioter ? Will he explain to the nation why, if Modi, who was only a CM , could get the army deplo in Gujarat in less than 48 hrs, ( the army had to be brought from the border where it was deplo after the attack on parliament in Dec2001) Congressman Rajeev hi PM & his Government FAILED to deploy the army quickly ( it had taken 72 hours for the Rajeev hi Government to deploy the army effectively) although 5000 army personnel were available for deployment at Delhi Cantt !
  2. M
    Mar 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm
    Well this guy has a thick skin. After the ordinance episode he can still talk of the autocratic manner of others, with elan !