With the 2002 riots returning to haunt him, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday parried questions on whether he accepted moral responsibility for the violence that claimed the lives of many minority community people.
“What is this thing?,” Mr. Modi shot back, whose fast for communal harmony entered the second day, when a reporter asked him whether he accepted moral responsibility for the violence that took place in Gujarat in 2002 after the Sabarmati train carnage. “You people like to stretch such a lie that you like.” Asked in what way he would regret the killings that took place in the State then, he only said, “I have talked about it elaborately in my letter today. I had made a statement then also, but you people forgot it when it is the truth. You (the media) are always looking for gossip and if you like a lie, you stretch it to any extent.”
Mr. Modi also denied that he was celebrating the Supreme Court order on the Ehsan Jafri murder case and instead said he was merely fasting. “Who is celebrating? I am only fasting. Is this celebration? And what verdict are you talking about. Has there been a single FIR against Modi in any police station. Has Modi been named in any case on the Gujarat violence?” he instead questioned.
On the question of whether he wanted to play a bigger role in the national politics, Mr. Modi said, “Every chief minister is playing a role in national politics. I am already working for my country and doing it a service.”
When asked specifically on whether he intended to play a bigger role within the BJP, a humble Mr. Modi said, “I am small party worker. I am working for Gujarat, I am working for my party and for my country.”