In what could be seen as a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his alleged role in the 2002 post-Godhra riots, Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Sunday that the court’s verdict should be “respected”.
“If courts have given their verdict, then it must be respected. The question of holding a debate on it does not arise,” said Pawar, days after similar remarks by his party colleague Praful Patel.
“We are in an era when we believe that the judicial system is the final recourse to getting justice on any issue or to bring finality to any controversy and if the judicial system has given any pronouncement, we ought to respect it. We will not question it further,” Patel had said last week, responding to questions on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accusing the Modi government of “abetting” the Gujarat riots.
An Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court had earlier upheld the clean chit given to Modi by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in a 2002 riot case.
While interacting with party workers in Satara on Saturday, Pawar had said, “Nobody is untouchable in public life.” But he added that “politics is guided by ideology and there is no question of any alliance with the BJP.”
However, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, who was in Mumbai on Sunday, said, “There is no personal enmity in politics. It is not as if someone is sitting in Pakistan and can’t talk.” She was responding to questions on reports that Pawar had met Modi. The NCP has already dismissed the reports as baseless.
Meanwhile, Pawar said on Sunday that the seat-sharing talks with Congress for the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra are going on “in a friendly manner”. Dismissing reports that the NCP had issued an ultimatum to the Congress, he said the issue “would be finalised in 8-10 days.”
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Maharashtra PCC president Manikrao Thakre met senior party leaders in Delhi. While formal talks between the two allies will begin in a day or two, sources said Chavan and Patel have been meeting to discuss the seat-sharing. According to these sources, while the seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha polls has been decided, discussions are going on regarding exchange of some seats.