Former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani attended a BJP event in Gandhinagar Saturday, her first public appearance since her acquittal in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case in April this year. Kodnani was seen sharing the dais with Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and other women leaders of the ruling party on the second day of the two-day BJP women wing’s national convention at Trimandir at Adalaj in Gandhinagar.
Others who were present on the dais Saturday were BJP Mahila Morcha national president Vijaya Rahatkar and MP Saroj Pandey. Thousands of women workers of BJP from across the country participated in the convention.
While Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the inaugural session on Friday, Irani attended the second day of the session. Speaking on the occasion, Irani said that women workers from across the country will contribute to make the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership retain power in 2019.
The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had arrested Kodnani in 2009 in the Naroda Patiya case while she was still the minister of women and child welfare in the erstwhile Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. She had later resigned.
In August 2012, a special court for SIT cases had sentenced Kodnani, to 28 years of imprisonment. However, in April 2018, she was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court. But she is still an accused in another 2002 riot case of Naroda Gam in which 11 Muslims were killed. The case is being heard by a special SIT court.
After her acquittal in the Naroda Patiya case, Kodnani had told reporters that she was, and will remain a BJP party worker.