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'Best Bakery judgment will divide Hindutva base'

By Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
Last updated on: February 24, 2006 23:03 IST
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"At last justice has prevailed," said Bharat Solanki, president of Congress Party in Gujarat, while speaking with

He said the Best Bakery judgment, which has convicted nine of the accused, is a landmark one and proves that the Narendra Modi government manipulated justice and abused its power.

However, he added, "I don't think Modi has any morals, which will compel him to resign. I don't see him relinquishing power any time soon."

Solanki, who has recently become the leader of the highly-divided state Congress, said, "This judgment will create divisions among Modi's Hindutva supporters. A section of them will probably now realise how Modi's government has abused power."

According to reports, however, many Congressman in North Gujarat are clandestinely helping riot accused to win over their sympathy. These are accused languishing in jails because lack of funds to fight their cases.

Solanki remained optimistic, "We are pleased to note that justice prevails in India and underdogs have some hope in the judicial system."

He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat of hitting at the base of democratic values by violating norms and codes of local self-governance.

"Minorities in Gujarat are not given proper compensation nor is investigation of re-opened cases done properly," he said.

Solanki predicts that this judgment will 'now lead to many other awkward questions' for Modi. "We want to know who murdered Haren Pandya and why," he added.

The fortcoming municipal elections, to be held on March 12, will, Solanki said, help the Congress to resurrect itself in the state.

Complete coverage: The Godhra riots

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi