Court verdict a vindication, says BJP; Congress says no clean chit to Modi (Roundup)

September 13th, 2011 - 1:02 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday said the Supreme Court ruling on a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 riots, had vindicated the party’s stance that there was no evidence against Narendra Modi, but the Congress said the court directions were not a clean chit to the Gujarat chief minister.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said there was no evidence of involvement of Modi in the riots and the apex court ruling had vindicated the party’s stance.

“The BJP had always said that the allegations made against the Gujarat chief minister in relation to 2002 riots were absolutely false and there is not a shred of evidence,” Jaitley said.

“There is no evidence to connect him (Narendra Modi) with any of this crime. Propaganda and falsehood can never be a substitute for hard evidence… we are glad this is now being accepted. I am glad that the apex court came to a conclusion that trial in the state of Gujarat can be fair and free,” Jaitley added.

Echoing similar views, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said Modi has passed agnipareeksha (test by fire) and truth had emerged victorious.

Party veteran L.K. Advani also welcomed the the Supreme court verdict.

Modi also tweeted “God is great”.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said court had not given clean chit to Modi and BJP had a “disregard for accuracy and a self-acquired license and liberty with the truth.”

Accusing the BJP of distorting the court ruling, Singhvi said the apex court had not opined on the merits at all.

“The apex Court has not given Mr. Modi any clean chit in any manner whatsoever direct or indirect. ..the entire material is to be sent to the magistrate for de-novo decision on the merits and therefore, the magistrate has been left open by the apex court to decide everything and that everything which is left open, includes the question whether Mr. Modi should be included or not,” Singhvi said.

He said in the event that Special Investigation Team is to opine that Modi should not be included, the magistrate has been directed to be obliged to give an opportunity to the complainant Zakia family and others before a decision.

Asked whether Congress was worried that Modi could now be projected as a prime ministerial candidate, Singhvi said there were “various squabbling forces within the BJP” and the worry will be on their side and not in Congress.

Another party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said there was need to wait for the trial court decision.

“It will be difficult to wipe off the blot on Narendra Modi. His character is known to the entire country. He was unable to the curb communal violence in Gujarat,” Alvi said.

He said Modi could not “wash off the stain” of the 2002 riots.

The Supreme Court directed the trial court to hear the petition by Zakia Jafri, whose husband was killed in the Gulberg Society carnage during the 2002 riots, against Modi.

The petition alleged deliberate inaction on part of Modi, his cabinet colleagues and some high-ranking state officials.

The court said the magistrate, before deciding on the complaint by Zakia Jafri, will issue her a notice and afford her an opportunity to be heard.

In the 2002 incident, 69 people, including former Congress MP Jafri, were killed. The rampaging mob targeted members of the Muslim community in the Ahmedabad neighbourhood and set it afire.

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