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Narendra Modi's comment does not change reality of Gujarat riots: Congress

Friday, 27 December 2013 - 9:26pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Congress on Friday slammed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for claiming in his blog that he felt shattered following the 2002 riots, saying his posting was an exercise in "sanctimoniousness" as the "reality" of the riots cannot be changed.

Party leader Manish Tewari said the blog is just an attempt by Modi, who is BJP's prime ministerial candidate, to "try and burnish" his image before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

"But this (the riots) is not going to fly because nothing changes the reality that happened in 2002," Tewari said.

"Let's not take away from the fact that it all happened on his watch. Isn't he vicariously responsible if not directly responsible?" he added.

Earlier on friday , Modi had said that he felt "liberated and at peace" in the wake of the clean chit given by a local court to him, claiming he was "shattered" by the blame laid at his doors for those killings.

"It is an exercise in sanctimoniousness. It is completely hypocritical and absolute hum bug to say the least. If it takes 12 years to come out with such convoluted half-baked explanations, it obviously goes on to show that you do not believe in the core idea of India, its intrinsic values which constitutes liberalism," Tewari said.

Continuing with his attack, Tewari further said, "Why was it that the then Prime Minister was constrained to remind the Chief Minister about his Raj Dharma."

Asked if the Congress was looking for an apology, Tewari said, "I think no apology, no expression of remorse changes the reality that thousands of people were massacred. There has to be justice.

"I do not think an apology or expression of regret or remorse substitutes for closure, substitutes for justice," he said.

He said the fundamental bottomline is that there has been no justice in Gujarat even after 11 years.

Raising the issue of alleged attempt by the Gujarat Government to evict Sikh farmers who had settled in Kutch region of Gujarat, he said, "If it was one minority in 2002, there is another minority which is facing his wrath in 2013." Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Farooqui termed Modi's blog as a "political move" and said they did not expect any justice from the lower court in Gujarat as Modi had "demolished" the entire judicial system there.

"We were not hopeful of getting any justice," he said, adding Zakia Jafri has several options to explore following the court's ruling.

A metropolitan court in Ahmedabad had yesterday rejected the petition filed by Zakia, wife of a former Congress MP, objecting to the Supreme Court-appointed SIT's closure report absolving Modi of complicity in the conspiracy behind the 2002 carnage which left over 1000 people dead, mostly Muslims.

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