Endorsing the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a "decisive and focused leader that the country needs today", Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has said that there is no parallel between the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre and the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat.
"Yes, the Gujarat violence happened when he was the chief minister. But, heading the government doesn't mean that he was behind the riots," Badal said on Monday while interacting with Hindustan Times staffers at Leaderspeak@HT. "No court has held Modi guilty and there is no legal case against him," he added.
On the other hand, the Congress, he charged, was "directly responsible for the 1984 Sikh carnage in which its leaders gave directions". "All the commissions established the involvement of the then Congress ministers, and the party has been openly protecting them," he said.
The Shiromani Akali Dal chief was responding to a pointed question as to why the SAD was pitching for Modi despite the taint of state-backed anti-Muslim riots against him while keeping up its tirade against the Congress for the 1984 happenings.
Asked to compare Modi and Rahul Gandhi, Badal said the difference was like day and night. "Modi is decisive and focused and a chief minister who has a complete track record to support his performance, while Rahul has neither vision nor a mission and has been unable to show that he deserves to be prime minister," he said.
Taking a swipe at Rahul, Badal said, "In Parliament, he sits on the last benches and never puts forward his view. The country doesn't know who he is and what he stands for, while people know Modi very well."
Badal said the country was in a political and economic crisis because of an indecisive government which took one step forward and three steps backward. "The country today needs a decisive government and a decisive leader," he added.
(Sukhbir Badal's full interview shall appear on Oct 9)