‘Have excellent relations with Jaya’
In an interview to television news agency ANI, Modi said, ‘The AIADMK and BJP might have different ideologies, but at a personal level, I have excellent relations with J Jayalalithaa ji.’ When he was asked on BJP’s ‘differences’ with Jayalalithaa, he said that neither Jayalalithaa nor he had made ‘bitter statements against each other’, and added that he did not believe there are ‘untouchables’ in politics.
Jayalalithaa strongly criticised Modi in a public meeting last Sunday in Karur where she had urged voters to ensure that neither the BJP nor the Congress retain their deposits from any of the seats in the state, targeting both on the Cauvery water issue.
Speaking on a gamut of issues, Modi rejected the view that he had remained silent on the February 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat. He said, ‘I was not silent. I answered every top journalist in the country from 2002-2007, but noticed there was no effort to understand the truth.’ He added, ‘Now, I am in the people’s court, and I am waiting for their verdict. If the media had not worked to malign Modi, who would known about Modi today?’ On the context of the much-hyped 2009 ‘Snoopgate’, the BJP PM candidate said, ‘Crime against women is national shame. We should all work as a nation. Rahul (Gandhi) shouldn’t politicize it and nor should I.’
He also spoke on decriminalization of politics. ‘We all are in favour of setting up special courts under the aegis of the Supreme Court to try politicians accused of crimes. I would like to see all such cases to be taken up and tried in these special courts and concluded within a year. Speedy trial should ensure that the guilty are sent to jail, their seats vacated, and a non-criminal occupy it.’
‘My aim is to try for consensus to create these special courts to try criminal politicians,’ he
He also rubbished the impression that Muslims were fearful of him and therefore there could be a polarisation of votes in key constituencies of the country, such as in Varanasi, from where he was contesting the polls.