Ahmedabad, Sept. 18: Retired Supreme Court Judge V.R. Krishna Iyer, who headed a citizen’s tribunal that had dubbed the Gujarat riots “premeditated”, today welcomed Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate and lauded him for “encouraging Gandhian values”.
“I am committed to socialism and I support Modi because he is also socialist and encourages Gandhian values,” Iyer, who at 97 is among the country’s oldest former judges, said in a letter to the Gujarat chief minister on his birthday yesterday.
Iyer wished Modi best for becoming “future prime minister” and termed the BJP’s decision to pick him “timely” before going on to describe him as “positive, someone of nationalistic virtue and having global dimensions”.
Iyer, a minister in Kerala's first communist government led by E.M.S. Namboodiripad before becoming a judge and passing landmark rulings on right to life and liberty, made it clear he welcomes the BJP's decision on a “personal level”.
Haren Pandya, the former state home minister slain a year after the 2002 riots, had secretly deposed before the citizen’s tribunal headed by Iyer and blamed Modi. The tribunal, set up with rights activist Teesta Setlavad’s initiative, had highlighted Pandya’s testimony in its report.
On Iyer’s comments, Teesta said: “I haven’t seen the letter. I have nothing to say now.”