By ANI The BJP has been accused of being ‘hateful’ and ‘anti-national’ by its party’s leader for his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In his first interview after taking over as BJP’s general secretary, Amit Shah has told a reporter from a local television channel that he doesn’t have any “time for hate”.
“We have to be clear.
We are against violence.
We have to stop violence.
But there is nothing to hate about the violence of Gujarat and the people killed in Gujarat.
They were murdered for wanting their rights,” Shah told the reporter.
He went on to condemn the “unacceptable” manner in which Modi was accused of instigating violence against Muslims.
Shah was the chief minister of Gujarat for nine months before he resigned from the post in November 2013.
He was then elected as general secretary of the BJP, which holds 32 of India’s 54 state legislatures.
Shah had earlier said Modi should be held responsible for the 2002 riots that left over 1,000 people dead.
The interview came on the day that Modi was expected to hold a “victory rally” in Varanasi to celebrate the completion of a Rs 7,000 crore project that is to be launched in the city in September.
The BJP had promised the project will help Gujarat “become a hub for manufacturing”.
Shah was speaking on the sidelines of a BJP national conference on Monday.
“I don’t have time for hatred.
I don’t like hate.
I have a lot of time for building Gujarat,” he said.
He said he didn’t like the fact that Modi had accused him of being a “favoured son” of the RSS.
The BJP, he said, should have made clear that he was not the person who had initiated violence.
“This is not the BJP,” he added.
The controversy comes after the BJP claimed it was the victim of a smear campaign by an anti-national group, and that it had lost control of its internal affairs department.
Shah is expected to address a rally on Monday in Varansi on the “Modi legacy” as part of his “victorious” campaign.
The rally is likely to be the biggest rally Modi has attended since taking over the reins of the party in 2015.