Unfair to blame Narendra Modi for 2002 riots: Rajnath Singh

Last Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 17:50

New Delhi: Describing the 2002 Gujarat riots as "unfortunate", BJP President Rajnath Singh on Sunday said it was unfair to blame Narendra Modi for the incidents even as he reached out to the Muslims, assuring that his party was ready to sort out any "confusion" over its approach towards them.
"One of our states is Gujarat. I agree an unfortunate incident has taken place. Who does not agree that it was unfortunate. Attempts were made to blame Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as if the riots were planned by the Chief Minister," he said.

Singh said during his personal interactions with Modi, he tries to read his facial expressions. "He looks so sad (about the blame game)...What is wrong with the people. Is it politics?," the BJP President asked referring to charges that Modi was behind the riots.

Addressing BJP`s Minority Morcha`s National Executive meeting here, he said people should ask the Muslims of Gujarat whether they feel any discrimination under BJP rule.

Singh also claimed BJP does not believe in the concept of hatred and said it was ready to correct any mistakes it could have committed. He said any such "confusion" can be sorted out by talking to each other.

"I want to say if there is any issue, if there is some confusion, then we can find a solution by talking to each other. When there is no scope to talk to each other, then problems (gadbad) can arise...Wherever there is a mistake, we will correct it," Singh said seeking to reach out to the Muslims ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due next year.

Singh also used the occasion to lash out at Congress, accusing it of adopting the Britishers` `divide and rule` policy.

Singh`s remarks on Modi came a day after party leader Arun Jaitley said that there should be no controversy over the issue of BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate as that would be akin to committing a "hit-wicket" and turn out to be the only possible reason for the main opposition losing the upcoming general elections.

The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha had indicated that Modi should be declared BJP`s PM candidate.

"Whether Congress adopted any other policy of the British or not, they at least adopted their divide and rule policy...Congress and some other political parties have tried to sow the seeds of division in the country," Singh said.

He admitted that members of the minority community working for BJP find it difficult to propagate the party`s policies among people due to the perception that it was against taking minorities along.

"This perception is far away from the reality. We do not indulge in such politics," he said.

BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the party would soon come out with a vision document on minority empowerment which would elaborate its stand on education, security and prosperity of the minorities as also their participation in governance.

"Our particular focus is on the socio-economic and political empowerment. If we come to power at the Centre, we will bring out an action taken report detailing the promises made to minorities of the country. I know that the vision document will not change the outlook of the Muslims towards the BJP but we have to make an honest effort from our side," said Naqvi.

He said Muslims are aware of the fact that Congress is responsible for backwardness, un-employment, poor-economic and social conditions of the community.

BJP should ensure that Muslims don`t get alienated and Congress should not succeed in political exploitation in the name of secularism or communalism, he said.

First Published: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 16:03

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