Modi summoned: BJP, Congress tread cautiously

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Modi summoned: BJP, Congress tread cautiously

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Gandhinagar:  Outside the Assembly session on Friday, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi avoided the media. The reason was obvious. The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the 2002 Gujarat communal riots, has asked Modi to appear before it for questioning on March 21.

Modi choosing to remain silent so far on the issue is understandable. Firstly, he doesn't want to get into a confrontation with the Supreme court-appointed team. Secondly and more importantly, analysts say are no upcoming elections, where he could utilise this as an election issue.

Back in the BJP office, it has been told the party is looking at legal options to get Modi out of this tough spot.

''What our strategy is something that we don't want to discuss on camera. But its takes long term planning in such cases," says spokesperson, Gujarat government, Jaynarayan Vyas.

Ironically, even the response from the Opposition Congress is guarded. A single symbolic question in the Assembly, not the expected guns blazing against Narendra Modi.

Analysts say the Congress party does not inadvertently want to give an edge to Modi, who in 2002 had used the communal riots as a driving force to win the Assembly elections.

Again in 2007 elections, he managed to polarise the voter with it, and won.

''The SIT must have strong evidence to issue a summon. We hope that the team carries out further investigations in right earnest and bring him to justice,'' says Gujarat Congress spokesperson Arjun Modhvadiya.
 
All eyes are now on March 21. Will the SIT finally be able to question Modi?  


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