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No need for Modi to be sorry: BJP

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Nothing that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi spoke warranted an apology, the Bharatiya Janata Party said here on Thursday even as the Communist Party of India sought his “disqualification” from contesting elections and filing of a criminal case against him.

There was absolutely no reason for him to be sorry about the reference to Sohrabuddin Sheikh in his election speech at Mangrol in south Gujarat on Tuesday; Mr. Modi suggested that “he got what he deserved,” which was death at the hands of policemen staging an encounter, party spokesperson V.K. Malhotra said.

He was responding to questions related to Mr. Modi’s comments referring to Sohrabuddin who, according to the Gujarat government’s submission in the Supreme Court, was done to death in a planned manner by some rogue police officers.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said his party’s delegation would meet the Election Commission on Friday to place its demand of disqualification before it. “The EC should take suo motu notice of his unpardonable remarks defending murder as well as his role in engineering riots to win elections and bar him from contesting,” Mr. Dasgupta said.

As against the CPI’s view, Mr. Malhotra went on the offensive, saying Congress president Sonia Gandhi had adopted an “anti-Hindu” and “hatred of Hindus” attitude. “What about the Congress record during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots?” Mr. Malhotra countered. He added that reporters should look at the “whole story.” After all, some Congressmen campaigning in Gujarat, which was bound for polls, had described Hindus who participated in the 2002 carnage in Gujarat as “terrorists.”

“Can Hindus be described as terrorists,” the BJP asked.

On the EC’s decision to serve notice on the party in connection with Mr. Modi’s comments, the BJP’s stand was that it would study the notice and give an appropriate response. When queried over comments by Gujarat government counsel K.T.S. Tulsi that in view of Mr. Modi’s remarks he would be “returning the brief” in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, Mr. Malhotra suggested that efforts were on to “persuade” him not to withdraw from the case.

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