A chief minister has to take responsibility if riots take place in a state under his watch, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday against the backdrop of the 2002 Gujarat communal violence. "I am a chief minister and something happens in my state, I have to take the responsibility. I cannot say no. I may not be directly involved, but as a chief minister, as a home minister, as an administrator, I think it is my responsibility to protect the interest of the citizens," he told NDTV.
He was asked about his stand on whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was responsible or not for the 2002 riots. On his earlier statement that Modi should no longer be held responsible for the communal violence as a court has exonerated the Gujarat Chief Minister, Pawar said that the decision of the court should be accepted.
"When the judiciary has said something one has to accept," Pawar said, adding that he goes according to the decision of the court. Pawar also said the development in Gujarat is not the contribution of one chief minister alone.
"Gujarat or Maharashtra, they are developed states and it is not the contribution of one chief minister. Many chief ministers, right from Chimanbhai Patel and others, they have done a good job," the Union Agriculture Minister said.
Asked about his equation with Modi, the NCP leader said that his equation with most leaders including Modi was good. "My personal equation with most of the leaders, rrespective of parties, including Modi, is good," he said.