Modi dares UPA Govt to arrest him

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New Delhi, Nov 24: Dismissing the Tehelka expose on post-Godhra violence in Gujarat in 2002 as 'commotion' which lasted 12 hours, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked if it proved his guilt why he had not been arrested and jailed when the UPA Government is ruling at the Centre. He said this in an interview published in Organiser, the news weekly published by the RSS.

On the charge of having engineered the post-Godhra riots and shielding the rioters, he told a TV channel, ''If Modi is such a big criminal why not hang me? Government of India is an all powerful sovereign authority, I am really surprised why is it not doing so?.'' On the possibility of Muslim votes consolidating against him in the coming Gujarat state elections to be held on December 11 and 16, he alleged that the Congress' vote bank politics was playing havoc and has already damaged the country's secular fabric considerably.

''As an RSS worker, I am totally against vote bank politics,'' Mr Modi told the saffron outfit publication.

Asked why UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf have often been in his line of attack, Mr Modi quipped, ''Why only Sonia and Musharraf, anyone who tries to dent even an iota of the Gujarati pride will be on my line of attack.'' ''I have nothing personal against Sonia, our differences are ideological,''he told Live India in an interview slated for telecast tonight.

On differences between the RSS and other votaries of 'Hindutva' like Mr Praveen Togadia on one hand and Mr Modi on the other, the Chief Minister retorted: ''The RSS and me are inseparable. No force on earth can do us apart.'' On the difference between elections in 2002 and 2007 in the state, he said he was new in 2002 but now people know his work and to that extent the chances of the BJP are much brighter.

The Chief Minister listed turnaround of Gujarat from revenue-deficit to revenue-surplus state, Beti Bachao programme, drastic decline in school drop-out rate, electrication and provision of drinking water as major achievements of his government.

Sex ratio in Gujarat has improved to 870 girls for every 1000 boys from the earlier 802 girls for 1000 boys, he said, adding school drop-out rate from an alarming 49 per cent during the Congress rule has come down to just 3 per cent now.

Asked about his agenda in the event of victory, Mr Modi told the Organiser that there was no question of if. ''Gujarat will win. The welfare of the poor, welfare of the state and peace and security for the common man will be on top of my agenda.''

UNI

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