Indore: Taking a strong exception to linking Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi with the 2002 communal riots, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Najma Heptullah on Saturday said Congress was trying to create a Modi bogey by "spooking" people into backing that party.
"It is a historical fact that during BJP rule in Gujarat only one communal riot took place and since then no such incident has taken place there. But in the same Godhra, during the rule of erstwhile Congress regime, 400 riots had occurred," Heptullah told reporters at the Indore Press Club.
The senior BJP leader alleged that Congress itself was scared and is trying to instill fear among people in name of the BJP`s prime ministerial candidate. "Congress has been ruling only by spooking people," she added.
The former deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha also clarified that she was not seeking to pardon anybody for the 2002 riots. "But associating Modi with the 2002 incident is incorrect".
"Did anyone from Congress apologise for the violence against Sikhs after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984?," she said replying to a query on demands from some quarters for apology from Modi over the riots.
On the issue of Modi refusing to don a skull cap offered by a Muslim cleric during mission `Sadbhavna` in Gujarat, Heptullah said, "the country needs `roti` and not `topi` (cap) and the Congress by donning the skull cap is doing nothing except fooling the minority community".
She said that it was wrong to assume that someone who wears skull cap is secular and one who does not is communal.
Replying to a query on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, she said, "I have not heard anything from Rahul on the issues of corruption and inflation so far. He has not yet presented any solid model for the development of the country".
On BJP fielding only a single Muslim candidate for the November 25 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, she said "Muslims should think seriously that if the they mix with the BJP like salt in a wheat flour, they would get representation accordingly...If they associate with the party in large numbers, they will stand for more chances," she added.