New Delhi, July 12: Yet another major political fighting broke out over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over his interview given to the Reuters. His opponents particularly took him on over the "puppy" comment in which he said that he would have felt pain even if a puppy came under the wheels of a car. This he said when he was asked whether he regretted the Gujarat riots of 2002.
Political adversaries wasted no time in attacking Modi over his remarks.
Salman Khurshid, Congress: Said Modi has a poor idea about the Indian people and that Hindu nationalist is an oxymoron for religion can't have a nation. Taunting Modi's 'puppy under the wheel' comment, Khurshid said one needs to raise some questions of his driver and take action but he didn't think that Modi has done it.
Kamal Farooqi, Samajwadi Party: Asking whether Modi was at all speaking about patriotism, he said a chief minister takes oath to protect its people. He said Modi was worried over a puppy but didn't feel bothered to apologise for the mass killings of 2002. Describing it to be sad, he asked whether Modi thought Muslims are worse than even puppies. Farooqi felt Modi should apologise to the entire nation.
Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP: Lashed out at Farooqi's comment, saying it was is despicable to say that Modi compared a community to dogs. She urged people to read the remarks made by Modi and their context before making any interpretation. She said a complete misinterpretation was causing a unnecessary controversy.
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena: Welcomed Modi's remarka bout Hindu nationalism. He said the Sena always believed in the opinion of Balasaheb Thackeray, its late leader, that the nation should be led by a Hundutva leader. He said Modi's stand will benefit the NDA.
Shivanand Tiwari, JD(U): Questioned Modi's reference to Hindu nationalism. He said such remark showed that Modi is a leader who doesn't believe in inclusive politics. He said the 'Hindutvawadi' people were destroying India's religious pluralism.
Arjun Modhwadia, Congress: Said Modi said what he had in his head and that he was taking such lines to get votes. He said Modi is known to be the leader of a particular community and the BJP can not move forward without him.
AB Bardhan, CPI: Felt Modi's words show that he was playing with the people . He said the BJP is a communal party and Modi a divisive element.
Devang Nanavati, Gujarat High Court advocate: Said the SIT had found nothing wrong and gave a clean chit to him. He said Modi did everything he could to prevent the riots. The army was called within 48 hours and over 70 companies of RAF were deployed.