Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has been avoiding questions on the 2002 post-Godhra violence against Muslims, on Friday said there has been no riot in the State in the last 12 years.
Sharing platform with yoga guru Ramdev, he maintained that his model of governance was based on “welfare for all” but made no direct reference to the post-Godhra violence that claimed the lives of over 1000 people, an overwhelming majority of whom were Muslims.
“My manifesto is everyone should be healthy and welfare for all. In Gujarat (where) riots happened every other day and innocents were killed, today after 12 years there is not a sign of riots,” he said.
The speech was delivered to a gathering, including a number of religious men, at yoga guru Ramdev’s ashram here.
Mr. Modi, who generally avoids questions on the post-Godhra violence, has been accused by his detractors of having not taken any steps to stop the violence against Muslims after the train carnage in Godhra.
In his speech, Mr. Modi accused the Centre of virtually hounding yoga guru Ramdev for his views that go against the government.
“I want to ask the rulers in Delhi whether it is wrong to put forward your views in a democracy. Is it wrong to have views that are diametrically opposite to that of the government,” he said.
Referring to the death of a woman volunteer due to the injuries sustained in a midnight police action on Ramdev’s followers on June, 2011 in the capital, Mr. Modi said “Rajbala (the woman who succumbed to injuries) is seeking reply from the government on the action.
“The people in the government are using indecent language against Ramdev, who is serving the nation not only by with his yoga, but also with his movements (against black money),” Mr. Modi said.
The religious leaders praised Mr. Modi’s leadership and said he had the ability to rid the nation of ills including corruption.
“At a time when power is concentrated in a handful of people, thousands of crores of country’s black money is stashed abroad and our hostile neighbours are getting emboldened by the day, Mr. Modi alone can give the country the kind of leadership it is looking for,” Ramdev said.
However, Mr. Modi said he did not want the blessings of the saints for any post but he needed them to keep himself to the right path.
“I need the blessings of the saints not for any post. I need their blessings to keep me to the right path, so that I don’t deviate and hurt anyone,” he said. - PTI