Stepping up its attack on Rahul Gandhi's remarks about Narenda Modi government's handling of 2002 Gujarat riots, BJP today accused him of trying "desperately to communalize or polarize" the coming elections.
Congress hit back by charging the opposition party's with adopting contradictory stands on post-Godhra riots and anti-Sikh carnage of 1984.
"Rahul Gandhi and his party should start respecting the apex court (Supreme Court) and this court's monitored inquiry which has led the district court to give a clean chit to Narendra Modi. That is more credible than Rahul Gandhi raising these questions. Rahul Gandhi is desperately trying to communalize or polarize this election," BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh told a news channel.
Hitting out at Modi, Gandhi had in an exclusive interview to PTI demanded "legal accountability" for the "clear and inexcusable failure" of governance during the 2002 Gujarat riots and dismissed talk of clean chit to him as "politically expedient" but "far too premature".
"Whatever idea they (Rahul and his party) have is continuing for the last ten years under Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi...India is facing huge corruption, there is inflation, common man is suffering, there is no infrastructure happening and there is no development and employment generation in the country," Singh said.
He said "if this is the idea of Rahul Gandhi and his party....Our idea and Modi's idea is exactly the reverse where we want to create more jobs, we want to control inflation, we want development to happen, we do not want to get into the communal frenzy, we want development which will go to every 120 crore Indians and not to a particular community".
Terming BJP's stand on the communal riots as "completely contradictory", Congress said the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is made into a political issue.
"BJP's stand is completely contradictory. In 1984 riots, a large number of commissions have been set up. They have given clean chits to certain people and made certain allegations. In the case of 1984, you never accept and everytime you come to power, whether them (BJP) or AAP, they make it a political issue, initiate some new probe or the other and try to show themselves on the side of those who were victimized during it," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said.
"But in terms of 2002, they have a completely different perspective. 2002 is well-documented as to what really happened. The real inquiries have still not taken place. There is a large number of doubts about the evidence which was presented and in the way it was interpreted," he added.
Dikshit said what the Congress vice president has said was "completely true" and he has raised doubts that is in everybody's mind.
"What Gandhi said is completely true. Doubts which he (Gandhi) has raised is there in everybody's mind. A large number of jurists and judges have written about it. 2002 cannot be closed. What happened in 2002 was an attempt by certain parties to change the discourse of the fundamental principles on which India is built and on this Congress can never compromise on," Dikshit added.
He said that unlike other parties like AAP who question Modi only on the development propaganda, his principle opposition to Modi and BJP was on what had happened in 2002.
"My first question is on the debate of secularism itself.
That needs to be answered first. The kind of action which took place in 2002 still needs to be investigated," he said.
Meanwhile, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said people have already "accepted" Modi. "The people of the country have accepted Narendra Modi," he said.