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Gujarat riots a blot on NDA rule: Advani

By Our Staff Reporter

GHAZIABAD, MARCH 8. The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, said today that the riots in Gujarat in 2002 were "unfortunate" and a blot on the six-year rule of the National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre, which had performed satisfactorily on the internal security front by initiating peace processes with Pakistan as also with the militant outfits in the North-East.

Addressing jawans and officials at the Central Industrial Security Force's Annual Raising Day Parade here, Mr. Advani said the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA Government, which had come to power on the "positive mandate" of providing su-raj or good governance, had tried to fulfil its promise by achieving both security and growth. Averring that people were now discussing the country's progress in the past six years, the presence of a "feel good" factor and the issue of "India Shining," Mr. Advani said the fact that the overall security situation had improved needed to be appreciated.

Even the Gujarat riots would not have happened but for Godhra, he said adding that they were more of an aberration.

In the North-East, the Government was keen on giving another chance to the youth to shun violence and join the national mainstream.

VHP joins issue with Advani Reacting to the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani's statement that the Gujarat riots were a "blot" and an "aberration," the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said today that "blaming" Hindus for "everything had become a fashion" in the country.

"It is unfortunate that roasting alive of 47 Hindus on Godhra station is not a blot for Advaniji. The attack on Raghunath temple and Akshardham and the attacks on Amarnath pilgrims and Parliament, the temple of democracy, are not taken as dark spots," the VHP international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, told PTI over phone from Mumbai.

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