Zee Media Bureau
Haridwar: Making a secular pitch, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that he is not just the leader of Hindus but made no direct reference to the 2002 post-Godhra riots in which several Muslims were killed.
"I am not just the leader of majority Hindus. I am the leader of Indians," he said.
Sharing platform with yoga guru Baba Ramdev, he maintained that his model of governance was based on "welfare for all" but made no direct reference to the post-Godhra violence that claimed the lives of over 1000 people, an overwhelming majority of whom were Muslims.
"My manifesto is everyone should be healthy and welfare for all. In Gujarat (where) riots happened every other day and innocents were killed, today after 12 years there is not a sign of riots," he said.
Chief Minister also praised the role of saints and seers in the nation building.
“Political leaders and governments have not made this country, our saints and seers have made this country,” he said.
Appealing to the vast gathering of his supporters he said, “We have lost self respect, it is important that every Indian showcase this inspiration to the world.”
He made this remark shortly after inaugurating Yoga guru Baba Ramdev`s Acharyakulam School in Haridwar in presence of influential spiritual leaders like Morari Bapu and Rameshji Oza.
Modi, who generally avoids questions on the post-Godhra violence, has been accused by his detractors of having not taken any steps to stop the violence against Muslims after the train carnage in Godhra.
In his speech, Modi accused the Centre of virtually hounding Ramdev for his views that go against the government.
"I want to ask the rulers in Delhi whether it is wrong to put forward your views in a democracy. Is it wrong to have views that are diametrically opposite to that of the government," he said.
Referring to the death of a woman volunteer due to the injuries sustained in a midnight police action on Ramdev`s followers on June, 2011 in the capital, Modi said, "Rajbala (the woman who succumbed) is seeking reply from the government on the action.
"The people in the government are using indecent language against Baba Ramdev, who is serving the nation not only by with his yoga, but also with his movements (against black money)," Modi said.
Apparently siding with Baba Ramdev, Modi said today when these saints are doing so much, those in power complain and ask why they are involved in other activities.
“I feel what Baba Ramdev is doing, I don’t think he is doing it with any agenda,” he said, adding, “I am not asking anything but the country is seeking an answer from those who are in power in Delhi.”
Modi also described Ramdev as his twin brother and said that both are being targeted by Delhi every day.”
Swami Awadheshanand, Anand Murti Maharaj, Pejawar Swami, Dr Pranav Pandya are some of the other prominent spiritual leaders who are expected to be present at the event.
A school based on Vedic-cum-modern education, Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust’s Acharyakulam Shikshan Sansthanam is affiliated to CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education). It will offer education to students from grades 5th to 12th.
Modi’s visit to Haridwar assumes significance as it comes at a time when he is being increasingly projected as BJP’s PM candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Of late, Ramdev has emerged as one of the most vocal supporters of the ‘Modi for PM’ idea.