Narendra Modi defends his ‘puppy’ remark
Zee Media Bureau
Ahmedabad: Hours after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s 'puppy' remark kicked up a political storm on Friday, while dismissing all criticism of his role in 2002 Gujarat riots, he tweeted, “In our culture every form of life is valued & worshipped.”
While speaking to Reuters news agency, Modi said that “even if a ‘puppy’ comes under the wheels of a car, one felt sad.”
Asked if he regretted what had happened, the Gujarat strong man was quoted by Reuters as saying 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."
In the interview, Modi's also said that he had done "absolutely the right thing" during the 2002 riots and described himself as a "Hindu nationalist".
Political rivals, including Congress and the Samajwadi Party, attacked Modi's statement as "insensitive and reflective of his mindset" over the death of Muslims in 2002 post-Godhra riots. Congress even demanded that Modi should immediately apologise to the nation as his words are "totally against the idea of India."
The BJP, meanwhile, defended the Gujarat Chief Minister's remarks, saying he has been "misinterpreted completely" and "a controversy has been created where it does not exist".
"I appeal to all to read the interview in full and not to speak out of context. It is risky," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
On the controversy around the "puppy" remarks, she said that Modi meant that anybody would feel sad even if a human being came under a car.
"Clearly, this is done with an intention to appease a particular section. It is part of Congress' vote bank politics. It is part of Congress' strategy before elections," Sitharaman said.