Journalists smeared me over Gujarat riots - Modi

NEW DELHI Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:28pm IST

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat's chief minister, speaks during their national council meeting at Ramlila ground in New Delhi January 19, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat's chief minister, speaks during their national council meeting at Ramlila ground in New Delhi January 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Opposition leader and general election frontrunner Narendra Modi accused the media on Wednesday of smearing him over sectarian rioting in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on track to win the general election and promote Modi from his current post as chief minister in Gujarat - his home state where the rioting occurred - to become the next prime minister.

Voting in the world's largest democracy is phased overseveral weeks, beginning on April 7 and ending on May 12. Results are due to be announced on May 16.

"If the media had not made such an effort to malign Modi, Modi would not be as well known as he is," Modi, 63, said in an interview with the ANI television service.

Modi's rise has drawn fresh attention to the riots. Rahul Gandhi of the ruling Congress party has said that, even though a Supreme Court inquiry found that Modi had no case to answer, it did not absolve him of responsibility.

Modi has also faced accusations that he has been reticent over the killings because expressing contrition might alienate the BJP's core Hindu vote in the five-week election. The biggest round of voting will be held on Thursday.

Modi said that his attempts to explain the 2002 events to journalists had proved futile.

"There is no top journalist to whom I have not given an interview. I answered every question from 2002-2007," he said. "Later I saw that this was not an attempt to learn the truth."

He expressed confidence that the BJP would achieve its best ever result in the election, while the Congress party faced its worst ever defeat.

"I have said what I had to say," said Modi. "Now I am in the people's court, and I am waiting to hear its judgment."

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

'Zero Hunger' Goal

'Zero Hunger' Goal

India sees Brazil as a "role model" in beating hunger.  Full Article 

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Bilawal, scion of Pakistan's Bhutto dynasty, throws down gauntlet to PM.  Full Article 

Modi's Reforms

Modi's Reforms

Modi takes first bite at coal to end India's power mess  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Ronaldo leads rout as Real outclass Liverpool.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

New Google Mail

New Google Mail

Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox"  Full Article 

Fighting IS

Fighting IS

Iraqi Kurds approve sending fighters to aid Syrian town  Full Article 

What's Next?

What's Next?

Fears for tough penalties grow as India cleans up business.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage