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Modi fit to be PM, he is 100 per cent secular: Jethmalani

Last updated on: January 29, 2013 16:34 IST

Modi fit to be PM, he is 100 per cent secular: Jethmalani

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Batting for Narendra Modi as Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, suspended party leader Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday said that the Gujarat chief minister was the "best" candidate for the post and "100 per cent secular".

 

"According to me, Narendra bhai is the best prime minister for this country. Nothing has happened to change my mind. Modi in my definition of secularism is 100 per cent secular," Jethamalani told media persons in New Delhi.

The noted lawyer said he had supported Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate about a month back and expressed happiness over Yashwant Sinha supporting him on the issue.

 

"I don't believe that Yashwant Sinha has said anything to the contrary. He has supported my view and I am very happy that he has supported me. It lends greater credibility to what I have said," he said.

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Attacking Modi's detractors for terming him as "communal", Jethmalani said, "His enemies and detractors have done their best to spoil his name by disseminating untruth and sometimes to my knowledge creating false evidence to support their false claim.

"I believe that he is impeccably secular and when I use the word best, it means better than all those who according to me are known aspirants of the job," he said.

The suspended party leader said the words 'secular' and 'communal' were more used as "words of abuse than political dialogue" and attacked those who had reservations on Modi's candidature, saying "those who use the words don't even understand its meaning, particularly the word secularism".

"They don't understand the 'S' of secularism and they keep talking about secularism," Jethmalani said.

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On the possibility of Janata Dal-United quitting NDA in case Modi is declared the Prime Ministerial candidate, Jethmlanai said, "I don't think that will happen. And if it happens, let it happen."

He claimed bringing Modi as prime minister will benefit not only the BJP immensely but the whole nation.

On his outburst against former party president Nitin Gadkari, he said, what he said was in the interest of the party and what he said was "right". "The evidence has proved it," he said.

He, however, refused to comment on late Bal Thackeray's support for Sushma Swaraj as prime minister and said everyone has the right to speak in a democracy.

"It is a democracy. In a democracy, a cat can look at a queen and make her comment," he said.

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Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had on Monday pitched for Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate, claiming it will have a huge electoral benefit, but NDA ally JD-U was clearly unhappy.

Sinha advised JD-U, which has reservations against Modi because of the 2002 Gujarat riots, not to target the Gujarat chief minister and accept BJP's decision in "good grace" without picking and choosing who is secular and who is not.

"A debate has been taking place for many days now. When I travel, there is a strong demand from common people and workers that Narendra Modi should be declared as the PM candidate as this will benefit the party.

"After careful thought, I have concluded that if BJP declares Modi as its PM candidate, then BJP will benefit hugely in the elections. It will have a big impact on voters. I have no doubt on this," Sinha had said.




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