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I was not silent on the Gujarat riots issue. Now, I am in the people's court, says Modi

Publication: India Today
Date:  April 28, 2014
URL: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/narendra-modi-tv-interviews-gujarat-riots-ani-tv9/1/356440.html

On April 16 BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi gave two television interviews in which he fielded a range of questions from his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots to the perception that he has projected himself as a personality bigger than his party. While his responses on most subjects were confident, the Gujarat riots proved a stumbling block. In both interviews the Gujarat Chief Minister carefully distanced himself from the topic. Excerpts:

On being bigger than the party

"Modi is a mere representative; there are lakhs of supporters out there. Modi can never be bigger than BJP. Can a son ever emerge bigger than his own mother?"

On the accusation that senior leaders in BJP like L.K. Advani have been marginalised

"Whatever I am, I am because of them. I have learnt from and grown with the help of these senior leaders. BJP has a constitution. A single person never takes all the decisions."

On the BJP's prospects in the elections

"This will be the worst performance in Congress's history, and BJP and NDA's best performance."

On the Gujarat riots

"I was not silent, I answered every top journalist in the country from 2002 to 2007, but I noticed there was no exercise to understand truth."

"I have said what I had to say. Now, I am in the people's court, and I am waiting to hear from them, and their verdict."

TV9: You have expressed regret but haven't apologised. These people are asking for an apology.

Modi: Who are these people?

TV9: Congress.

Modi: Nobody from Congress has come to meet me. Nor have they even spoken about it. Congress people should first account for their sins before seeking account from others.

On setting up special courts to deal with tainted politicians

"This is not being considered out of vindictiveness, or with the aim of slapping cases on opponents. It is aimed at cleaning the system."

On Robert Vadra being in BJP's line of fire

"I am nobody to certify or accuse someone. I don't like this vindictive attitude."

On the Congress charge that black money funded his campaign

"If you ask Congress, they would have said Rs.15,000 crore, and then Rs.20,000 crore. Whatever number they dream up they say. Congress has 25 days left in government. I urge them to investigate this. Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani kar do."

On the BJP manifesto playing up Hindutva goals like building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya

"When I used to address rallies in Gujarat during the Assembly elections, I used to address six crore Gujaratis; similarly, whenever I address Indians, I address the 125 crore Indians and not as Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians."

On the perception that BJP will find it difficult to get allies

"We (AIADMK and BJP) might have different ideologies but at a personal level, I have excellent relations with Jayalalithaaji."


"This is perhaps the largest pre-poll alliance with 25 parties coming together for the first time in the history of India. You must consider this as an achievement."
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