Yet again ruling out any apology for the 2002 Gujarat riots, Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he should be "hanged" in public if there is even a grain of truth in the allegations against him.
An apology would serve no purpose because that is not the right way to deal with such allegations,
he said when asked about demands that he should apologise for the post-Godhra riots in which over 1,000 people were killed.
"I am convinced that if there is even a grain of truth in the allegations, I feel for India's bright future and traditions, Modi should be hanged in the street square. There should be such exemplary punishment that no one dares to commit such a crime for 100 years.
"If he has committed a crime, Modi should not be pardoned. What is this system of pardoning people through apology? There should be no apology. Modi should never be pardoned," he told in an interview to ANI telecast tonight.
He said the issue of apology would not have arisen if he had lost the elections in 2002 or 2007. "There is a small coterie who think they have worked hard and created a storm.
Read: Gandhis go all out against 'communal' and 'ambitious' Modi
But Modi does not lose, does not die. It is their (coterie) obsession to pull Modi down," he said.
Asked about the storm created over his "puppy" remarks earlier in reference to his expression of sadness over the killings of Muslims, Modi said even if an ant dies it pains.
"That does not mean I am comparing the dead to an ant.
In India, there is a difference between language and expression," he said suggesting that there has been misinterpretation of remarks, which he did not intend.
Read: Narendra Modi talks 2002, kicks up storm with 'puppy' remark
Asked about his refusal to wear a skull cap during his sadhbavna fast a couple of years ago, Modi said he followed his own tradition and respected the traditions of other.
"I am against the policy of appeasement. I will never follow the symbols of appeasement. If someone plays with a Muslim's cap, I will not tolerate. There should be exemplary punishment."
To a question about his recent statements that MLAs and MPs facing cases would be put behind bars, the BJP's PM candidate said criminalisation of politics is a serious issue.
If elected to power, he would urge the Supreme Court to appoint special court to try cases of MLAs and MPs against whom criminal cases are pending and deliver a verdict a within a year.
Those convicted will lose their seats and the vacancies can be filled by those without criminal charges, he said.
"Everybody says this but nobody does it. But I have decided to do so. But if there is a better way I will look into it. I do not want that cases against politicians be dragged for long," he said adding he wanted the credibility of institutions be enhanced.
However, he made it clear that he would not work vindictively but utilise his time and energy for doing good things for public at large.
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