2:27 am - Sunday November 8, 2015

Not silent on riots, but no exercise to understand truth: Narendra Modi

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New Delhi – Narendra Modi has said that he was never silent on the 2002 riots in his Gujarat, but there was no exercise to “understand the truth.”

In an interview to the ANI news agency today, Mr Modi said, “I was not silent. I answered every top journalist in the country from 2002 to 2007, but noticed there was no exercise to understand truth. It was unknown entity causing conspiracies.”

He added, “If the media would not have worked to malign Modi then who would know Modi today?”

Mr Modi has expressed regret for the communal violence 12 years ago in Gujarat, the state he has ruled since 2001, but has never apologised. In the middle of a national election that many believe will go in his favour, the 63-year-old has been repeatedly questioned on demands for his apology.

He told ANI that he “felt very hurt” by allegations against him, but gradually learned how to cope with them.

Critics accuse Mr Modi of not doing enough to check the riots that left 1,000 dead, mostly Muslims. A Supreme Court appointed probe panel found no evidence of his complicity as alleged, and a Gujarat court agreed with this assessment last year.

Mr Modi also responded to a question on ‘Stalk-gate’, or the alleged spying on a woman by police officers in Gujarat, allegedly on the orders of the state government, which has been a key theme in Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s campaign. “Crime against women is a national shame, We should all work as a nation. Rahul shouldn’t politicize it, neither should I,” he said.

On a question on whether his BJP-led coalition will cross the 272-mark needed for a majority to come to power at the Centre, Mr Modi said, “This will be the worst performance in Congress history and the BJP and NDA’s best performance.”

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