‘Congress constantly focusing on the 2002 Gujarat riots, while refusing to acknowledge several other riots’

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar has demanded that the Congress apologise for carrying out a “personal vilification” campaign against the Gujarat Chief Minister and party prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, for over a decade.

“For 12 long years, this vilification campaign and persecution of an individual has gone on. But the Congress has to learn that this hate campaign will backfire,” he said at a press conference here on Friday.

He criticised the Congress for “constantly focusing” on the 2002 Gujarat riots, while refusing to acknowledge several other riots.

Separately, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley accused the U.S. of adopting a “myopic” stance over Mr. Modi. He was reacting to a statement by the State Department spokesperson that there was no change in the U.S. policy on visa for Mr. Modi. “There has been no change to our visa policy. Our longstanding policy with regard to the [Gujarat] Chief Minister is that he is welcome to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant,” the spokesperson told PTI.

“That review will be grounded in U.S. law. I am not going to speculate about what the outcome might be,” the spokesperson said, asked about the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by India’s Supreme Court to look into allegations against Mr. Modi in the riots.

Cautioning that such an outlook had the “potential of recoiling back at them,” Mr. Jaitely, in a statement, said: “It is time the Americans reflect on how they have boxed themselves into this untenable situation.”

Will approach HC: Setalvad

Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad of Citizens of Justice and Peace said Mr. Modi’s celebration of the magistrate court’s verdict as a “clean chit” was premature.

“The BJP had also celebrated the SIT’s report on Mr. Modi as a clean chit. But amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran said there was evidence to prosecute him,” she pointed out.

“We will be approaching the High Court against the trial court’s verdict. There is a strong case for charges of criminal conspiracy. It is extremely premature to call this a clean chit,” she said.

More In: National | News