Modi felt bad about riots, not guilty: Book

Modi felt bad about riots, not guilty: Book

According to a new book written by a British author, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi says that he was “sad” about the 2002 Gujarat riots but has no guilt, and that no court has “come even close to establishing” it.

He has suffered 12 years of public “Modi-bashing” since the time of the riots, but says that he had decided early on to “let the media do its work; there will be no confrontation”.

“I never waste my time in confrontation,” Modi is quoted as saying in a just-published biography written by British author and TV producer Andy Marino.

Marino says in the book ‘Narendra Modi; A Political Biography’, published by Harper Collins, that he was given detailed access by Modi whom he accompanied aboard his helicopter during his campaign rallies and interviewed over several weeks. On the 2002 riots, Modi says, “I feel sad about what happened but no guilt. And no court has come even close to establishing it.”

The 310-page book deals with the riots in some detail with “hitherto unpublished, authenticated documents”. It discloses that after the riots, Modi wanted to resign as chief minister but was prevailed upon by the party to continue.

Marino says that the BJP strongman had confided in him “possibly for the first time in an on-the-record interview, that he no longer wanted to be the chief minister after the riots because he had decided it was unfair on the people of the state who had been subjected to extreme abuse because of him”.

Modi had resolved to step down at the BJP National Executive in Panaji on April 12, 2002, about a month after the Godhra riots. “I wanted to leave this position but my party was not ready to leave me, the people of Gujarat were not ready to leave me — this situation is what I had (to deal with). It was not up to me. And I was not ready to go against party discipline; I don't want to fight against my party. What my leaders say, I must follow it,” he told the biographer.

Modi also provides some details of how he handled the situation in the aftermath of the attack on a train carrying mostly ‘kar sevaks’ from Ayodhya in the early hours of February 27, 2002 in which 59 people were burnt alive. He says that after he had returned from Godhra to Gandhinagar late at night that day, “I informally asked my officers to alert the army.”

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