A “second look” into any post-Godhra riot case is what Manmohan Singh promised Gujarat on Tuesday, if the Congress is voted to power.
“I do not believe in politics of vindictiveness. But if there are justified grievances that some cases were not attended to, then we will have a second look into them,” the Prime Minister told a press conference after an election meeting.
On the controversy arising out of speeches and the “merchants of death” remark, he said: “A lot of things are said in the heat of the moment. I do not want to comment on individuals.”
In his speeches, Singh said, he had talked about how elections and the government could be an agent of change. He said there is an atmosphere of fear in Gujarat, which is not good for the state, and dismissed as propaganda that the Narendra Modi government alone was responsible for progress. “The Centre has pumped in lot of assistance.”
He refuted the BJP’s allegations that the Centre has discriminated against Gujarat over funds and said major beneficiaries of Central allocations have been non-Congress ruled states, including Gujarat.
Talking about education, Singh said no effort has been made in creating a well-established institution in the state for the past several years and students are moving to Karnataka and other states for higher studies in medicine and engineering. The number of engineering and medical colleges in Karnataka is four times more than Gujarat, he added.
He said a third of Gujarat’s population is illiterate and about 35 lakh children have left school.
The Prime Minister said that the talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Indo-US nuclear deal are continuing as per consultations with the Left parties. The next step on the matter would be taken after the present level of talks are completed, he added.