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Parties hit out at Narendra Modi for 'clarifying' 2002 Gujarat riots, demand apology

New Delhi: Political parties have hit out at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his controversial comments on the 2002 riots. While the Congress demanded an apology from him, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said it was shameful that Modi was "justifying" the riots.

In an interview to Reuters, Modi claimed he was innocent in the Gujarat riots and said "I would feel guilty only if I did something wrong". "While driving if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is...I'm a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad," he added.

The Congress was quick to react to the Bharatiya Janata Party leader's statement and said Modi's words are "totally against the idea of India". "Thousands of people were killed in the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 and in the backdrop the analogy used by Narendra Modi needed to be strongly condemned. There is no place for such a comparison in civilised India," party General Secretary Ajay Maken said on Friday.

"It is reflective of his perverse mindset. It is totally against the idea of India....We are unable to understand as to what is the intention of raising such things before the elections," Maken, who is the head of the AICC Communications department, said.

The CPI(M) also lambasted Modi for "justifying and trivialising" the 2002 riots, saying he was not ready even now to express regrets for it. "It is utterly shameful that he is justifying the genocide and using inappropriate examples and analogies to trivialise the enormity of it," senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said.

The Gujarat Chief Minister later defended his "puppy" remark on Twitter saying, "In our culture every form of life is valued & worshipped. My original interview with Reuters http://nm4.in/138jss0...People are best judge."

Modi also came under the attack for his "Hindu nationalist" statement. He had in his interview said, "I am nationalist. I'm patriotic. I am a born Hindu. Nothing is wrong in that. So yes, you can say I'm a Hindu nationalist."

Hitting out at Modi for making this comment, Congress General Secretary Digivijaya Singh tweeted, "Shouldn't we all be Nationalist Indians rather than Hindu Nationalist or Muslim Nationalist or Sikh Nationalist or Christian Nationalist?"

Minority Affairs Minister Rehman Khan also condemned the statement saying, "There is nothing called Hindu or Muslim nationalist, there is only Indian nationalist."

"No one can change the character of any person. This is just the beginning of unveiling of his character, more will come out in future. Nitish always said Modi is fascist, Modi always treated minority with contempt," JD(U) leader Sabir Ali said.

The BJP, however, has been backing its leader saying Modi's statements are being misinterpreted. "People should read the interview completely and then speak, people are misinterpreting the interview, they are making a controversy on false interpretations," party spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said.

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/parties-hit-out-at-narendra-modi-for-clarifying-2002-gujarat-riots/406213-37-64.html

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