Ten years after the Gujarat riots of 2002, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley came out strongly in favour of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi over his record during the riots and afterwards.
Jaitley said the Godhra train fire incident was “planned by mischievous elements with the intention of generating communal trouble” and added “many were misled into retaliatory action”.
He also said: “the violence was so widespread that the security apparatus of the state was outnumbered,” the army had to be called in.
“There have been more chargesheets and even convictions than in any other religious or caste riot in India,” Jaitley said, “This should be seen in the context of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, where chargesheets and convictions were negligible. Even the PUCL publication giving the details of the Sikh killings was banned. The media response was muted and the judicial attitude was passive.”
Pointing out that Gujarat had an “unfortunate” history of riots, he added Gujarat had finally witnessed a riot-free decade when it has moved beyond the past and on the path of economic growth.
“Gujarat has changed its agenda in the last ten years, much to the dislike of the Congress party leadership and some NGOs that work as its front,” Jaitley said.
“The changed agenda does not suit their politics. It is therefore necessary for them to keep the riot-torn image of Gujarat alive. Politically they have been on the losing side. Modi can’t be defeated by Congress in polls.”