Debating India


Khurana demands Narendra Modi’s dismissal

Sunday 21 August 2005, by MEHDUDIA*Sujay

NEW DELHI: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Madan Lal Khurana on Saturday asked the party president, L.K. Advani, to remove Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi immediately in order to redeem the party’s image that had been badly affected due to Gujarat riots, thereby emulating the example set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of Sikh riots.

In a letter written to Mr. Advani, Mr. Khurana said that Mr. Singh by apologising in Parliament and dismissing his ministerial colleague, Jagdish Tytler, had set an example and managed to remove the "blot" of 1984 riots from the Congress party’s face. It would be desirable that Mr. Modi was also removed as the Chief Minister of Gujarat as it would not only redeem the party’s image but also remove the "blot" of riots often referred to by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Mr. Advani himself.

"It is important that Mr. Modi goes before the Nanavati Commission report on the Gujarat riots is submitted as we will then not hesitate to seek justice for the riot-affected people in any part of the country," he said.

Stating that were enough grounds to oust Mr. Modi, Mr. Khurana has said that even the Supreme Court had referred to Mr. Modi as "Nero" and had termed the riots as even worse than terrorism. It had also remarked that Mr. Modi was shamelessly clinging on to his chair despite all this. "Why only the judiciary or the Opposition, even majority of the party legislators and Members of Parliament from Gujarat are demanding Mr. Modi’s removal and the common man is baffled why the party wants to continue with such a tainted Chief Minister," he wondered.

Mr. Khurana, still adamant on his demand that Mr. Advani should step down from his party position, reminded the party president that both he and Mr. Vajpayee had on a number of occasions "expressed shame" over Gujarat riots. The continued erosion of the party’s base and the recent defeat in the by-elections was primarily due to the burden of riots that the party continues to carry.

Citing a recent statement by senior party leader Rajnath Singh that riots could be controlled within four to eight if the Chief Minister desires, Mr. Khurana said here allegations have been levelled that Mr. Modi had instigated riots instead of controlling them.

"The Prime Minister of India by apologising for the Sikh riots and terming them as national shame had not only redeemed the image of the Congress party but had also put the BJP in an awkward position. Mr. Singh has set an example as the feeling of `shame’ often leads to forgiveness,’’ he added.

Taking a pot shot at the previous NDA Government, Mr. Khurana said it was unfortunate that it had failed to give justice to the 1984 riots victims despite being in power for six years.

Similarly, nothing concrete was done to rehabilitate the displaced Kashmiri Pandits who had been victim of terrorist violence and were forced to flee their homes. He said the perpetrators of the Gujarat riots are still roaming free and BJP needs to do some self-introspection before pointing a finger at others on the issue. ``We have no moral authority to fight to seek justice for the 1984 riot victims when we have failed to punish those who had instigated the Gujarat riots,’’ he concluded.

See online : The Hindu

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