Unsubstantiated criticism of Gujarat will never be tolerated, he says

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday wondered why the Congress asked actor Amitabh Bachchan to “oppose” the 2002 Gujarat riots. “Why only the film star, every citizen must oppose communal riots,” he said.

Writing in his blog in response to the strong reaction from the Congress to his calling Bachchan critics as “Talibans of untouchability,” Mr. Modi said there could not be different yardsticks to judge the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the 1992 Mumbai riots, the alleged atrocities in Kashmir and the 2002 Gujarat riots. “Modi himself has opposed the riots and still does, every citizen must oppose the riots,” he wrote.

The Chief Minister disagreed that he had never condemned the perpetrators of the 2002 carnage and reissued a paragraph from his March 2002 address in the Legislative Assembly, which read: “Are we not supposed to soul-search ourselves. Whether it is the Godhra incident or post-Godhra, it does not enhance the prestige of any decent society. These riots are a stigma on the humanity and do not help anyone to hold his head high. Then why is there a difference of opinion?”

Mr. Modi pointed out that in his criticism of “Talibans of Untouchability,” he did not take names of any party or individual, and yet the Congress took it upon itself and felt offended. He would not respond to the Congress criticism comparing him with Dawood Ibrahim. People must understand why the Congress reacted to his criticism on Monday the way it did on Tuesday, he said.

The Chief Minister cautioned that “unsubstantiated criticism” of Gujarat would never be tolerated. “Gujarat will give befitting reply again and again and again, come what may,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil claimed that Mr. Modi's criticism of the Congress was the result of “frustration” because of the grilling by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team probing riot cases.