The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday hailed a Gujarat court's rejection of the protest petition against the clean chit given to Narendra Modi by the Special Investigation Team in 2002 riots as a moral victory for him and the party.
The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, said the allegations of Modi's involvement in riots were "politically motivated" as Congress and its "friend non-governmental organisations" knew that they could not take on the Gujarat chief minister politically.
"The allegations were levelled (against Modi) out of political malafide, but falsehood can never substitute itself for truth.
"I have no hesitation in saying that Congress and its friend NGOs knew that they cannot fight Modi politically in Gujarat. That is why they decided to target him using malicious publicity, the Central Bureau of Investigation and judicial process," he said.
Jaitley said the judicial verdict has proved that "fabricated evidence" can never substitute itself for real evidence. "In all this fight, Modi has only emerged stronger. He faced an adversity and he has emerged stronger in this adversity. In this campaign of 12 years...2002, 2007 and 2012, he won elections," he said.
No other leader, he said, after 1947 has been put under so much scrutiny as Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, and he has come out unscathed. He challenged the Congress to compare the response of Modi government to 2002 riots with the way its government responded to 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Giving out figures, he said 1,04,088 people were arrested under preventive and punitive measures and as many as 4,272 cases were registered and verdict has been delivered in 1,168 cases.
"I want to ask Congress that how many people were arrested, how many cases registered, how many convicted.... in 1984 riots," he said adding truth always holds together and falsehood falls apart.
In a major relief to Modi, a metropolitan court in Ahmedabad rejected the petition filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of a former Congress member of Parliament, objecting to the Supreme Court-appointed the SIT's closure report absolving Modi of complicity in the conspiracy behind the 2002 carnage which left over 1,000 people dead, mostly Muslims.