Making a categoric statement that National Conference will never be a part of NDA, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was responsible for 2002 Gujarat riots for which he was neither saying sorry nor owning up the responsibility.
The 44-year-old Chief Minister said he had submitted his resignation after 2002 Gujarat riots which was not accepted by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“I sent my resignation to Vajpayee. I refused to vote along the Government at that time. There was a resolution in Parliament that required the NDA to vote together, I refused to and I abstained from that.
“My resignation was not accepted and I did not press, may be foolishly. I didn’t believe that Mr Vajpyee was responsible for riots, I believe Narendra Modi was. By pressing for my resignation, I would have made Mr Vajpayee responsible for these riots, which I don’t believe he was,” Omar said while answering questions.
However, Omar, who was Minister of State for External Affairs in the Vajpayee Government, feels that Vajpyee could have held Modi more accountable.
“Yes, he (Vajpayee) could have held Modi to a greater accountability but he (Vajpayee) wasn’t responsible for those riots and that is the only reason I did not press for that resignation,” he said.
On whether there was a possibility of any future alliance with the NDA, Omar, who is the working President of National Conference, said “Absolutely not. I know in politics some well wisher often advise us to never close our option and in politics the worst thing to do is to make any categoric statement like this but this is a situation where I wish to make a categoric statement like this.”
On Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots and whether he expected the Gujarat chief minister to apologise for it, Omar said, “Do I expect, yes, of course, I do. The country expects that somebody who is claiming to be Prime Ministerial material should at least own up. Forget about apologising, if you can’t apologise, at least take up the responsibility.”
Omar said the previous relationship that National Conference had with NDA was because of Vajpayee and “let me be very clear on that. We saw Vajpayeeji as a unifying factor and our initiative was based on the peace initiative he had with Pakistan and the peace efforts within J&K.
“All that bore out was why we had a good relationship with him. And there is no body in the BJP who matches that sort of unifying stature….Its personalities which drives the agenda. I mean look at the positions that Vajpayee had and the mannerism…”
Replying to a question from one of the participants that Congress’ hands were also not clean, Omar said, “Congress has a far more unifying agenda and lets face it NC’s ideology fits with Congress better than it fits with BJP.”
To a separate question about Modi’s presence on social media, the Chief Minister said Modi’s use of Twitter was only one way and to sermonise his followers.
“I haven’t seen any effort to engage. I understand he has far too many followers and how many he can engage but even an odd engagement would be better than no engagement at all,” he said. (Agencies)