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BJP defends Narendra Modi on post-Godhra riots

Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 8:29pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 8:28pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Against the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attack on Narendra Modi over 2002 riots, BJP on Tuesday said the charges against the Gujarat Chief Minister were "falsehoods" propagated by the media and some NGOs and have fallen apart.

In his latest blog, BJP leader Arun Jaitley contended that there was a "sustained campaign (conspiracy)" against Modi on the post-Godhra riots which "has collapsed as it was based on falsehoods".

He referred to three aspects: fire in coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express, the reported rationalisation of the riots by Modi that the riots are a reaction to the Godhra train incident, and that he directed senior cops to allow Hindus to exhaust their anger.

Jaitley claimed that a statement attributed to Modi, in which he purportedly said that every action has a reaction and the riots were a result of the Sabarmati Express incident, was "false".

Though Jaitley did not refer to the Prime Minister on his blog, his defence of Modi comes in the wake of Singh's attack on the Gujarat Chief Minister during his press conference last week.

Replying to a question, Singh had said, "If by strong Prime Minister you mean you preside over the massacre of innocents on the streets of Ahmedabad, that is not the kind of strength I will like to have."

Jaitley rubbished the Justice U C Banerjee Commission's report that said the fire in S-6 bogey of Sabarmati Express could have started from inside and no mob had burnt the coach.

"It was clear from day one that a misguided mob at the Godhra Railway station, of members belonging to one community had set the Sabarmati Express compartment No. S-6 on fire," Jaitley said, adding the Supreme Court-appointed SIT, which probed the incident, found that fuel for setting the coach on fire was brought in vehicles to the station a day before.

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