Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 18 April 2013. Calling the BJP the “most secular political outfit” where “no communal person can survive”, party chief Rajnath Singh on Wednesday came out in defence of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi insisting that Mr Modi could not have been responsible for the 2002 post-Godhra rots riots.
At a time when BJP-JDU alliance in facing major trouble over growing clamour within the BJP to project Mr Modi as the PM candidate for general polls and JD(U) demanding a “secular” PM candidate, Mr Singh also asserted that Mr Modi has never said that he was in the PM race or wants to be projected as the PM candidate.
BJP chief said that though the ongoing “crisis” between the two allies was “unfortunate”, he expressed confidence that the alliance will remain intact. On another ally Shiv Sena’s caution that BJP should take allies into confidence on the PM candidate issue or else there could be a “Mahabharat”, Mr Singh insisted that his party will consult with all its allies.
The BJP also sought to put behind the tit-for-tat with JD(U) over the Godhra incident that had taken place when Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was the railway minister.
“I have been a chief minister myself, so on the basis of my experience I can say no chief minister wants any anarchy or law and order problem in his state. I cannot believe he (Modi) would have provoked any law and order problem. I cannot even imagine a chief minister would provoke riots,” BJP chief said in his interaction with women journalists.
He added that “BJP is the most secular party, no communal person can survive in BJP” when questioned why was then Modi labelled “communal” by many.
When asked about Mr Modi’s comment after the Godhra riot that every action has a reaction, the BJPchief said the comment was not verified.
“It was not verified that Narendra Modi said that. The comment has been refuted by him,” he said.
Mr Singh also recalled former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s comment on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination but did not name him.
“After the Hindu-Sikh riots, a senior leader who is no more and I will not name him, said when big trees fall, the earth shakes,” he said.
Justifying Mr Modi’s inclusion in BJP’s parliamentary board, Mr Singh Mr said Modi is the “senior most CM” and there was only one vacancy. He also reiterated that any decision on the PM candidate issue would be taken only by the parliamentary board at the “right time”.