'Gujarat riots administrative failure but Modi was new'

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New Delhi, June 19: The post-Godhra riots in Gujarat reflected "administrative failure" and "bad example of governance" in the state. This is what Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar had to say during an exclusive interview to The Indian Express on Wednesday.

Parikkar, however, shielded his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, who was at the helm when the Gujarat riots broke out, fast by saying that the latter might not have a strong grip on the administration as he has now.
Parikkar's comment came days after Modi was elevated in the BJP as the election campaign panel chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta for NDTV's Walk the Talk programme, the Goa CM spoke highly about Modi's governance record and said the latter was the best bet for the BJP at the moment.

Parikkar said while issues like corruption and price rise matter in elections and people attach big importance to maladministration or lack of governance for they feel that non-governance is the root cause of all problems. He said people obviously look for a person who is able to deliver good governance.

Parikkar said there was no "question mark" as far as Gujarat's governance is concerned over the last 10 years, although reminded that Godhra was perhaps a blot and he would not defend it.

He said it would be wrong to just blame Modi for what had happened in Gujarat a decade ago. He said the administration had collapsed and it was polarized. He defended Modi by saying that the latter was just four-year-old at the helm at that point of time and might not have a strong grip to control things on the ground.

He applauded Modi, saying that the latter did not allow the state to witness another such gruesome incident in the next 11 years of his governance. He felt that the Gujarat chief minister made the experience count.

On Modi's elevation, Parikkar said the BJP had to take a call on Modi for indecision was not doing the party any good. He believed that the common people and the party supporters wanted Modi yo be made the face of the BJP's poll campaign and that his aim was to break the "logjam' over Modi's anointment.

Parikkar said he told the party to take a decision at the national executive in Goa or at least set a timetable for taking a decision.

On senior leader L K Advani's brief revolt against the party's decision to elevate Modi, Parikkar said politicians should assess their health and mental state once they turn 65 and accordingly decide their future in politics.

He said politics has become a demanding field but reminded that he was making a general comment and not referring to any particular individual.

Parikkar felt health problems should make one to decide against continuing in electoral politics for inability to serve people and meet their expectation could see one losing his political ground. He advised older politicians to remain more engaged in party politics.

OneIndia News

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