Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he condemned the Godhra and post-Godhra riots of 2002, like any other citizen should. He was reacting to the Congress party’s demand yesterday that Amitabh Bachchan should declare whether he espoused or condemned the role of Modi in the communal riots in his state.
“The Congress has asked Shri Amitabh Bachchanji whether he opposes Gujarat riots or not? Friends, Modi himself has opposed the riots and still does. Every citizen must oppose riots,” he said in his latest blog post.
Modi went on to say that there could not be any difference between the riots of 1984 and those of 2002.
“Whether it is 1984 Delhi riots, 1992 Mumbai riots, 1985 Gujarat riots or atrocities committed in Kashmir or Godhra-related riots. There cannot be different standards to judge riots,” he added.
The Congress had yesterday asked that Bachchan should clarify his stand on the Gujarat riots.
“I want to ask a direct question to Mr Bachchan…does he, as the brand ambassador of Gujarat, endorse or condemn the role of Modi and his Gujarat government during the pogrom of 2002?” Manish Tewari, the Congress Spokesperson, said in a press conference.
Modi also sought to remind the Congress that he had condemned the riots in 2002 itself.
“After the Gujarat 2002 riots I had made a statement in Vidhan Sabha in March 2002 and I wish to quote one para as sufficient evidence for those who are spreading lies day and night: “Are we not supposed to soul-search ourselves? Whether it is Godhra incident or post-Godhra it does not enhance the prestige of any decent society. These riots are a stigma on humanity and do not help anyone to hold his head high. Then why is there a difference of opinion?” he said.
He emphasized that he had spread his message through Doordarshan and Akashvani on the afternoon of 28 February 2002.
Modi declared no unsubstantiated criticism of Gujarat would be tolerated and that he knew his appeal would go unheard.
“Gujarat will give a befitting reply again, and again and again come what may,” he said.