New Delhi: Hitting out at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his controversial comments on the 2002 riots, Congress on Friday demanded that he immediately apologise to the nation as his words are "totally against the idea of India."
"Thousands of people were killed in the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 and in the backdrop the analogy used by Narendra Modi needed to be strongly condemned. There is no place for such a comparison in civilised India," party General Secretary Ajay Maken told reporters.
"It is reflective of his perverse mindset. It is totally against the idea of India.... We are unable to understand as to what is the intention of raising such things before the elections," said Maken, who is the head of the AICC Communications department.
Maken recalled that after the riots, the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had said that Modi should follow "Rajdharma".
He said recently, Goa Chief Minister and BJP leader Manohar Parrikar had also said that the riots were sympotmatic of "failed governance model".
"India is not what he thinks...The analogy he has drawn the parallel he has drawn is not the idea of India," he said. Replying to a question whether his remarks were in relation to the "puppy" comment of Modi, he said "absolutely".
Asked if he regretted what had happened, the Gujarat strong man was quoted as saying in an interview that the Supreme Court had created a Special Investigating Team which in its report had given him a "thoroughly clean chit, a thoroughly clean chit".
"Another thing, any person if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we`re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will be painful or not? Of course, it is. If I`m a chief minister or not, I`m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad," Modi said.
The comments of Modi created a political uproar today with many parties like Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), CPI and JD(U) saying he had compared Muslims to a `puppy` and should apologise for the "humiliating" remarks.
BJP, which was put on the backfoot by the comments, insisted that Modi`s remarks had been "misinterpreted" with an aim of "appeasing a particular community".