Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah has refused to apologise to BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi for allegedly referring to him as a mass murderer at an election rally in Mysore, even as the Election Commission Thursday admonished him for the personal attack.
Talking to the media, Siddaramaiah said the term ‘narhanthak’ or mass murderer referred to the Gujarat administration, which he held responsible the 2002 riots, and not to Modi specifically.
“I will not apologise for the remark. It was not aimed at Modi. More than 2,000 people died in Gujarat in the 2002 riots and the government administration of the state is responsible for this mass murder,” he said. “I only said incidents of mass murder had occurred in Gujarat.”
The Karnataka CM had made the remark on March 23. On Wednesday, BJP president Rajnath Singh had demanded an apology from him. Siddaramaiah has, in several campaign meetings, called Modi a “hardcore RSS man”. At an election rally also attended by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Bangalore earlier this week, he had called Modi “inhuman”. “He must accept responsibility for what happened during his tenure (in Gujarat). He never apologised. He hung on to power,” the CM said.
At a rally in the south Bangalore constituency on March 26, Siddaramaiah said India would not be at peace if Modi were to become PM. “They killed people, they burnt people. Will this country be able to live in peace?” Siddaramaiah said, referring to the 2002 Godhra riots at an election meeting in the BTM Layout area.