Jaitely defends Modi's remark on Sohrabuddin

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Ahmedabad, Dec 5 (UNI) BJP general secretary Arun Jaitely, in-charge of Gujarat, today strongly defended Chief Minister Narendra Modi's speech on slain Sohrabuddin Sheikh, stating Mr Modi was only ''responding to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's aggressive remark against him''.

Talking to UNI, Mr Jaitely said the issue was raised by the Congress as its President Sonia Gandhi had referred to Mr Modi and his government as 'Merchants of Death'. In this regard, the Chief Minister's remark should be seen as a ''political response''.

He said the Congress took the campaign to a different tangent by describing Mr Modi as 'Merchant of Death'.

''The Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi says that he has to be tried by the international court. Digvijay Singh mentions that Gujarat is a problem of Hindu terrorism,'' said Mr Jaitley and wondered has not terrorism taken the lives of almost 5,000 to 6,000 people in the last three years? He said if this was the Congress style, Mr Modi responded in the same manner, justifying the Chief Minister's remark on Sohrabuddin, who was killed in the police encounter in November 2005.

Mr Jaitely said it has been the BJP's agenda to fight this year's elections on development plank with various other ideological issues, which were part political debate. However, the Congress had taken the campaign to a different level, with its leaders such as Sonia Gandhi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal making all kinds of statements.

UNI

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