29 September, 2020

Minor Modification

Vajpayee censures the Gujarat chief minister but stops short of relieving him of office

Atul Loke
Minor Modification
On his long-overdue visit to the riot-torn, traumatised state of Gujarat, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee took care to project himself as statesman, poet and humanitarian, a veritable picture of emotional distress. But as the day wore on, full of gut-wrenching tales of horror, it became clear that expectations of swift and stern justice against an erring administration were to be belied. Glued to the PM’s elbow all through the visit was Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi: the face of fear for minorities all over the country.

The PM adhered faithfully to a well-planned script, alternately making passionate pleas for peace and talking tough. He was deeply ashamed, desperately hurt and firmly resolved to bring evil-doers to justice, he said. He rapped Modi sharply on the knuckles: "CM ke liye ek message hai, ki woh raj dharma ka paalan kare (there is one message for the CM and that is, he should follow the raj dharma).... By raj dharma I mean there should be no difference between caste and caste, between religion and religion...." But he had ruled out a change of CM...



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