New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi, who has received much criticism over the 2002 post-
Godhra riots, on Friday said questions over communal peace in his
state will remain till he is alive.
"I can say this with great pride that after 2002 no
riot has taken place in Gujarat. There has been not a single
day of curfew. Earlier, riots used to take place during kite
festival, cricket matches...," Modi said.
But at the same time he admitted that there was "no
guarantee" that people will agree to his assurance on peace in
Gujarat. "This programme (issue) will continue till I am
alive," he said.
He was replying to qustaions on the 2002 riots and
whether he could assure that there will be no repeat of the
violence in the state at the `India Today Conclave` here.
"The records of communal riots in Gujarat is available
from the year 1736 onwards. No month used to pass off without
a curfew. It had become a part of life in Gujarat...there was
no riot after the Akshardham temple attack (2002), the state
was peaceful even after the Ahmedabad bomb blasts (2008) which
left scores dead," he said.
He said with the prevailing situation in the state,
"you can be rest assured that Gujarat is a peaceful state
focussed at development."
Asked whether he is responsible for what he has been
accused of in the 2002 riots, he said it would be
inappropriate to comment on the subject as the matter was
before the Supreme Court.
"The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has asked me all the
questions which I have replied. As a responsible citizen it is
my duty not to say anything on the subject," he said.
He refused to comment on what `time frame` he has set
for himself to become the Prime Minister.
"Whatever reply I give will attract a controversy,
therefore you can take the reply which suits you," he said.
He also rejected suggestions that he has invested a
lot in in his image. "I have not spend even a minute on
developing my image...I have only worked for the betterment of
my state..." he said.
To a question on Centre-State relations, he said the
federal structure has borne good results in the last 60 years,
but lamented the "encroachments" by the Centre due to
"...We were served an Income Tax notice. If this
continues, it will become difficult...it should not happen,"
he said referring to the notice served on his government on
the MoUs signed during the Vibrant Gujarat summit early this