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For God's sake, stop dividing Gujarat: Modi

Source: PTI
December 15, 2002 16:05 IST
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Following the Bharatiya Janata Party's thumping win in the Gujarat assembly election, caretaker Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed for an end to divisive politics.

"The victory is not that of any political party, but of Gujarat's self-respect. It is linked to the prestige of five crore Gujaratis. It will be our effort to live up to their expectations and work for the welfare of the common man," Modi told a press conference in Ahmedabad.

Asked if he had a message for Muslims, Modi, in an apparent reference to the Congress, said, "Whoever tried to spread venom has been defeated. For God's sake, stop dividing Gujarat.

"Those who have been defeated should know there is no full stop in politics. They should leave their negative role and play a constructive role. Let us together make Gujarat's future."

Modi also appealed to the BJP supporters to celebrate the party's victory with "peace, restraint and brotherhood".

"Kamal ne kamaal kar diya [the Lotus {BJP's symbol} has worked wonders]," he said.

He claimed that for the first time in its history, the Congress had to adopt Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and abandon Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in its election campaign.

Asked about his priority, Modi said, "It will be decided once the government assumes charge."

To a question whether the victory would change the party's direction at the national level, he said, "At the moment I am more concerned about government formation. I do not know about disha, [direction] but dasha [condition] will certainly change."

Modi specially expressed gratitude to his predecessor Keshubhai Patel for his role in the victory.

Taking a dig at the media, which had been by and large critical of him in the wake of the communal violence, Modi said, "We are also grateful to the media for making the Gujarat election a subject of discussion worldwide through their respective interpretations. Otherwise, a small state like Gujarat would not have been noticed."

Asked whether Sangh Parivar outfits like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had contributed to the party's victory, he said, "The credit goes to all the five crore people of Gujarat and it includes them."

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