Senior Congress leader and Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma today said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi cannot be pardoned for the 2002 riots in Gujarat, even if he apologised a hundred times for the same.
"Even if he (Modi) apologises a hundred times, he cannot be pardoned (for the riots)... He is a blot of Gujarat," he told reporters.
Verma was reacting to All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Vice-President Maulana Kalbe Sadiq's statement that he can vote for Modi, the BJP prime ministerial candidate, "if he changes himself".
Sadiq had yesterday in Bareilly said that, "there is a difference between the words and deeds of Modi... (But) I can also vote for Modi if he changes himself." Verma also alleged that hundreds of people from Gujarat had come to Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar to indulge in rioting as both BJP and Samajwadi Party had a secret pact between themselves since the Babri Masjid movement days.
Referring to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Verma said that although the former could not handle UP, as seen during the recent violence in Muzaffarnagar, he was dreaming about becoming the prime minister of the country.
Meanwhile, defending Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for his statement that Pakistani intelligence agencies were trying to lure Muzaffarnagar riot victims towards terrorism, Verma said, "He (Rahul) speaks straight from the heart. He does not hide anything, there is no place for secrecy in democracy".