The verbal volleys between Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s supporters and opponents following his comments allegedly drawing an analogy between a puppy and the victims of the 2002 Godhra riots hit a shriller pitch on Saturday.
The surprise element in the ongoing bitter verbal exchanges was Modi getting the backing of a Bahujan Samaj Party MP, Vijay Bahadur Singh, who said that he saw nothing wrong in the Gujarat chief minister’s remarks and even called him a “sensitive person”.
“If he (Modi) says that he feels bad if a puppy gets crushed under the wheels of his car, then it shows that he is a sensitive and compassionate person,” Vijay Bahadur Singh said. “These are my personal views, but his remarks should not be misinterpreted. He is not referring to any community.”
The Congress kept up its attack on Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) countered it in an equally aggressive tone.
While minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan termed Modi as an “unstable” person, his party colleague Digvijaya Singh criticised Modi for attempting to “divide” the nation. “Shouldn’t we all be nationalist Indians rather than Hindu nationalist or Muslim nationalist or Sikh nationalist or Christian nationalist,” he posted on Twitter.
Narendra Modi gestures as he walks at the lawns at his residence in Gandhinagar. (Reuters file photo)
BJP deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad said the Congress and other parties were scared of Modi and “that is why we are seeing that they are in the habit of twisting their statements”. BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Congress had a “devilish mind”.
In an interview to Reuters, Modi had said on Friday, “Someone is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even if a puppy comes under the wheels, will it be painful or not? Of course it will. Chief minister or not, I’m a human being... It is natural to be sad.”
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