Narendra Modi’s insinuation that Sohrabuddin Sheikh deserved to be killed has the Congress lunging for him.
The Gujarat Chief Minister’s remark came at an election rally on Tuesday in south Gujarat. “You tell me what should have been done to Sohrabuddin?” Modi asked the crowd. When they roared back “kill him, kill him”, he said: “Well that is it. Do I have to take Sonia Gandhi’s permission to do this?”
In 2005, Sheikh was killed in what Modi’s government later admitted to be a fake encounter.
Though the BJP defended Modi saying he did not name Sohrabuddin and that it was all election rhetoric, the Congress tagged him “Dr Death”.
The party said the courts and the Election Commission should take suo motu cognizance. AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi alleged that Modi had committed a “clear and gross contempt of court” as there were several cases relating to the Sohrabuddin episode pending against him.
“What should the people do with a chief minister who is a dictator, has no regard for the law and who because he assumes someone to be guilty decides to liquidate him without trial?" Singhvi asked. “He should be constitutionally liquidated and ejected as chief minister.”
In Modi’s defence, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitely said it was Sonia who started the muck-raking as she first raised the Sohrabuddin case. He said Modi had “politically responded” to statements the Congress was making. “It was a part of election rhetoric that has been played up.... It was all actually started by the Congress central leadership, which used provocative language," Jaitely said.