Congress slams Modi’s presence at Jayalalithaa’s swearing-in

May 17th, 2011 - 12:09 am ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The Congress Monday expressed its displeasure over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi attending Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s swearing-in at Chennai, saying that he should not be touched even with a “two fathom bargepole” for the 2002 anti-Muslim riots.

“Insofar as the chief minister of Gujarat is concerned and our position for both him and his policies are very well known, I do not think it requires any elaboration. The Congress party believes that somebody who had orchestrated the worst genocide in independent India should not be touched even with a two fathom barge pole,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said here at his media briefing.

He was asked for comments on Modi being invited and being present at the swearing-in of Jayalalithaa as Tamil Nadu chief minister.

On Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s telephone call to Jayalalithaa and the invite for tea, Tewari said it was part of “courtesy calls” made by the Congress chief after the election results in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry were out.

“What may or may not have transpired in those conversations, I am not privy to that,” he added.

Gandhi’s phone call had triggered speculation that there could be a political realignment in the wake of the poll debacle of ally DMK in Tamil Nadu, and a possible alliance between the Congress and the AIADMK.

The Jayalalithaa-led alliance had won 203 seats, sweeping the polls and washing away the Karunanidhi-led DMK-Congress alliance.

The DMK ended up with 23 seats in the 234-member assembly, which is seen as a fallout of the party leaders’ involvement in the multi-crore 2G spectrum allocation case.

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