An inquiry into the carnage in Gujarat
Advani praises Modi’s Gujarat Gaurav Yatra
15 & 16 September, 2002: Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kischenchand Advani on Sunday gave Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a ‘pat on the back’, while praising his much-criticised Gujarat Gaurav Yatra saying it was the ‘need of the hour’, and the popular response to it was unnerving the opposition.
"When the opposition parties denigrate Gujarat as ‘Godse’s Gujarat’, the need for restoring Gujarat’s gaurav [honour] is all the more important," he said addressing office bearers in a meeting of the party in New Delhi.
Describing the yatra as a ‘highly successful programme’, Advani said the party must now work to ensure that its Gaon Chalo Abhiyan [Go to the village campaign] and the proposed December rally in the capital also turns out equally successful.
Referring to the criticism of Modi within the party, he cautioned the members to be careful and maintain unity. "As a ruling party, we are under the microscope. Therefore, our political behaviour must strive for idealism," he said.
The criticism surfaced when Gujarat revenue minister Haren Pandya had resigned from the state Cabinet following differences with Modi, which was later sorted out with central intervention, even as Modi’s predecessor and poll campaign in-charge Keshubhai Patel had recently stated that elected legislatures would chose their leader as against the projection of Modi as a chief ministerial candidate.
Advani has been taking active interest in party affairs of late, following the BJP’s debacle in Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and other places and made changes in the party, including the change of leadership and rejuvenation of the organisation at the state level.
The deputy prime minister said that in the last three months, a new sense of confidence has grown in the party. "The party’s activities, its zonal conferences, the political programmes, have made the opposition jittery. The hostility of the opposition is the result of the successful programme of the BJP," he said.
Gujarat a blot, admits Advani (excerpts)
London, Aug. 22: ...Mr Advani, who is on his trip abroad after being elevated to the post the deputy prime minister, also said, "If all the countries in Europe can put aside their differences and come together, then why can’t Indian Pakistan and Bangladesh do the same."
The deputy prime minister described the Gujarat violence as an indefensible issue. "Gujarat is a blot on the government. It is something indefensible. I just cannot defend it. We (Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Mr Advani) were outraged and shocked by the violence."
... The deputy prime minister unveiled a bust of India’s Iron Man, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, at the Indian high commission on Wednesday. Speaking in chaste Hindi, he described how Sardar Patel integrated the 500-odd princely states into India after Partition.
In the background, meanwhile, a group that had gathered outside the Indian high commission building in central London held placards and shouted slogans against the deputy prime minister, blaming him and the BJP for the recent riots in Gujarat. The protesters were from organisations such as South Asia Solidarity, India Muslim Council UK and South Asia Watch.
Inside, Mr Advani dismissed reports that Sardar Patel was anti-Muslim, and quoted scholar Rafiq Zakaria and Jai Prakash Narayan to illustrate. The bust was donated by the Sardar Patel Memorial Society in London.
Later, addressing a select group of guests at the high commissioner’s residence here, Mr Advani praised NRIs for their contributions in their adopted countries. He used his skill as a good storyteller to show how Indians abroad excelled in their professions. Mr Advani also reflected on how cynicism hampered progress in India and urged people to be positive in their attitude.
BJP can no longer claim providing riot-free Govt: Advani
Press Trust of India
Bhopal, September 04: Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Wednesday said because of the violence in Gujarat after the Godhra incident, the BJP can now no longer claim that it always provided riot-free Governments.
Advani said before the Gujarat incidents, he had claimed both in Parliament and outside that no violence ever took place in states, ruled by BJP.
"But all this has now changed because of Gujarat," Advani said in his address on the opening day of the two-day meeting of BJP MLAs and office-bearers from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Goa.
He said the Vajpayee Government at the Centre had done excellent work since 1998 and urged party workers to tell people all over the country about its achievements in various fields.
Published by: Citizens for Justice and Peace