Prosecute Modi for 'self- proclaimed crime': Left

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New Delhi Dec 7 (UNI) Left parties today demanded the immediate prosecution and disqualification of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from contesting elections for his ''self-proclaimed crime'' and said '' punitive action'' was necessary to uphold the country's secular and democratic framework.

While the CPI leaders called on Chief Election Commissioner M Gopalaswamy at the Nirvachan Bhawan to demand Mr Modi's disqualification, the CPI(M) at a press conference said he should be prosecuted on the basis of his own confession for justifying the killing of businessman Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter.

'' Mr Modi, by making such a statement, has got himself implicated in the case,'' CPI(M) senior leader and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said, adding his violation of the rule of law and incitement to violence for political ends would simply prove counter-productive, as had been the case of the 'Shining India' campaign of the former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee led government.

Mr Yechury said Mr Modi's open claim about the killing simply demonstrated that the BJP had now reverted back to its ''basic Hindutava agenda'' without which it could not survive.

'' It is clear that the BJP has again fallen back on its core Hindutava agenda to garner Hindu votes after having realised that its slogan of Gujarat's development success story had failed to win with the voters in the two-phased assembly polls on December 11 and 17.

Referring to what he termed as ''vanishing Gujarat'', the CPI(M) leader, quoted facts and figures of over 500 farmers who had committed suicide during the last one year alone and as many as 12500 people out of the total 1.5 lakh who continued to live in refugee camps even after nearly five years of the post Godhra carnage.

Mr Yechury said the situation in rural Gujarat was still worse with the millions of poor and downtrodden not getting even the basic necessities of life.

To a specific query, he said the CPI(M) had decided to contest just one seat in Bhavnagar, only to ensure that secular votes were not divided. '' This was paramount to uphold social harmony and the larger national interest,'' he said.

The CPI leaders'...Eds pl pick up from line one, para six, DI 17 POLITICS-EC-MODI-CPI UNI

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