Modi sad about Gujarat riots,says Rajnath

2002 riots unfortunate,unfair to blame Modi,says BJP president

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 2, 2013 1:36:20 am

BJP’s chief campaigner Narendra Modi remaining tightlipped on the 2002 Gujarat riots,BJP president Rajnath Singh,addressing the national executive of the party’s national minority morcha in the capital on Sunday,dispelled apprehensions against Modi. Singh,terming the 2002 Gujarat riots as unfortunate and sad,said even Modi feels “sad” about it.

“Attempts were made to blame Narendra Modi as if the riots were planned by the Chief Minister,” Singh said.

“Friends,I have read his facial expressions whenever I have interacted with Narendra Modi (on this issue) and he looks so sad (about the riots),” the BJP president claimed today regarding his assessment of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

“Ask Muslims in Gujarat whether they are being discriminated against,” the BJP president asserted,claiming neither the previous Vajpayee-led NDA at the centre nor the governments of Madhya Pradesh,Chhattisgarh,Goa and Gujarat under BJP rule discriminated against Muslims.

Singh has shielded Modi over the issue earlier.

“Just because of one unfortunate incident (Gujarat riots 2002),it is not right to repeatedly blame a chief minister,” Singh had said at an Idea Exchange at The Indian Express in April,adding,“No one can accuse any BJP government of discriminating against anyone on caste,creed or religion….”

“I have been a chief minister myself… I can say no chief minister wants anarchy or law and order problem in his state. I cannot believe he (Modi) would have provoked any law and order problem. I cannot even imagine a chief minister would provoke riots,” the BJP president had told journalists at the Indian Women’s Press Corps in April.

Responding to a query regarding Modi’s alleged comment after the riot that every action has a reaction,Singh said,“It was not verified that Narendra Modi said that. The comment has been refuted by him.”

“They just use Modi’s name as an excuse to create a divide between communalism and secularism to hide their failures. Just like encephalitis,the country should be saved from ‘secularitis.’ The Congress is the most communal party. It is worst affected by ‘secularitis’. After such a long rule in the country,they should have fostered harmony…,” the BJP president said in Patna after JD(U) walked out of NDA over Modi’s projection as BJP’s chief campaigner.

Today,Singh advocated dialogue to avoid confusion.

“…if there is some confusion,then we can find a solution talking to each other. When there is no scope to talk… then problems can arise…wherever there is a mistake,we will correct it,” he said.

“It is Congress’ misinformation campaign that has created the impression that BJP is anti-Muslim,” Singh said.

“…Congress and some other political parties have tried to sow the seeds of division in the country…,” he added.

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that the Congress was a “traditional and professional political exploiter’’ of Muslims and minorities.”

Naqvi assured that BJP “is a guarantee for safety and development of minorities”.

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