Kapadwanj, Gujarat, Dec 6 (UNI) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said he was provoked to raise the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter issue after Congress president Sonia Gandhi called him 'maut ka saudagar' (merchant of death) at a public rally.
He said he was compelled to defend himself in the context of the insults heaped on him by her.
''It is my democratic right to defend myself. For the past six months people had been levelling all sorts of allegations against me on the Sohrabuddin issue. When Soniaji attacked me publicly, I had to react,'' he said in an interview to a private TV channel.
''In our country encounters are not a matter of debate but false encounters are and I am against false encounter and will always be,'' he added.
Today, the Election Commission sent him a showcause notice on his reported statement justifying the killing of Sohrabuddin at a public rally in Mangrol in south Gujarat on Tuesday.