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VHP proud of riots, BJP mum on Modi

New Delhi, Sept. 16: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today said what happened in Gujarat after the Godhra killings was a matter of pride, cocking a snook at Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had said in New York that “Gujarat was not good for us” and “Gujarat was a shame for the country”.

The BJP also refused to condemn chief minister Narendra Modi and his controversial slogan “hum panch, hamare pachhees” while referring to Muslim relief camps as “baby-producing factories”. Party president M. Venkaiah Naidu said the “issue (of Modi’s remarks) is closed”.

The BJP declined to react even after a television channel had nailed Modi’s claim that he had been misquoted by the media by showing video clips of the chief minister’s speech during the Gaurav Yatra.

Asked whether he would call for the tapes and seek explanation from Modi, Naidu said: “The issue is closed and media reports have been favourable to Modi and minorities have come in large numbers to see the yatra.”

VHP national secretary Surendra Jain told a news agency that what happened in Gujarat after the Godhra killing was “not a matter of shame but a matter of pride”. The Prime Minister should have focused on other “important” issues such as migration of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, which the country should be ashamed of, he added.

Last week, VHP working president Ashok Singhal had said that the Gujarat carnage had awakened the Hindus.

The VHP accused the Vajpayee government of having failed to live up to the aspirations and expectations of Hindus by “continuing with the policy of secularism for votes, which meant appeasement of minorities”.

Diplomats meet Naidu

Envoys of China, Japan and South Korea today called on Naidu, seeking fraternal ties with the BJP. Chinese ambassador Huajun Huo told Naidu that the Communist Party of China wanted to establish party-to-party ties with the BJP. He invited Naidu to visit China.

Naidu said the Chinese envoy was impressed with the similarities between the two countries and wanted cooperation in developmental activities and education at universities’ level.

Korean envoy Kwon Son-tae also held talks on increasing co-operation between the two countries and their ruling parties. The ambassador reportedly told Naidu that during his meeting with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the West Bengal chief minister had sought Samsung investment in a big way in the state.

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