Contending that Modi was answerable on moral grounds as Chief Minister, the Congress' chief campaigner said, "Beyond that, there should be a legal accountability for the clear and inexcusable failure of governance under him.” (Agencies)
Rahul was answering a question during an interview to a news agency on BJP's contention that Modi had been given a clean chit by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT and the courts and, therefore, he had nothing to answer for or apologize for about the post-Godhra riots.
He replied, "As you know, the SIT report had been seriously questioned by a number of credible experts. Grave flaws have been pointed out in the functioning of the SIT. The acceptance of the flawed SIT report by the lowest court has not yet been subjected to judicial scrutiny by higher courts.”
"The specific allegation and evidence pointing to Mr Modi's responsibility in the 2002 riots are yet to be adequately probed. Any talk of his having been given a clean chit may be politically expedient, but is far too premature. There are many unanswered questions. There is a lot more the country needs to know," he said.
Rahul did not see Lok Sabha elections as virtually a presidential-style contest between him and Modi and said, "It is a clash between two ideas of India."
He contended that the Congress represented an idea which ‘respects the liberty and dignity of every one of our countrymen by upholding the ideals of humanity and inclusion’, whereas the BJP wants an India ‘in which there is no place for the poor, no place for those with a different religion or ideology’.
The Congress leader said that the BJP seeks to ‘suppress large numbers of India's ideas’ and wanted ‘an India in which power is centralized in the hands of individuals. It is a clash between these two ideas of India’.
The Gandhi-scion added, "The ideas that Mr Modi represents are dangerous for India."
Replying to a question that people appeared to be disappointed with the lacklustre performance of the UPA government and favoured a strong leader like Modi, he said, "Yes, I believe that India needs a 'strong' leader but we must have a deeper understanding of what 'strength' means.”
"Strength to me is not brute force or the ability to bulldoze your way through decision making in an autocratic manner. I do believe that an autocratic mindset that believes in dispensing with whatever is inconvenient to its notions is dangerous because such people tend to disregard what is right for what is expedient," Rahul said.
Contending that Modi was answerable on moral grounds as Chief Minister, the Congress' chief campaigner said, "Beyond that, there should be a legal accountability for the clear and inexcusable failure of governance under him.”