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'I blame the media for creating Modi'
Sheela Bhatt in Ahmedabad |
December 13, 2002 01:41 IST
The Congress' Yatin Oza, who fought against caretaker Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Maninagar constituency, was a relieved man on Tuesday evening.
In a chat with rediff.com just after voting closed at 1700 IST, Oza, an advocate, conceded defeat.
"In Maninagar, the Congress is non-existent. Modi selected Maninagar because he knew there is no presence of the Congress in this area. Even before the election I knew I would lose. But still I fought against Modi because my party president, Sonia Gandhi, told me."
In the morning he had a tough time when his father, Narendra Oza, a supporter of Modi, wanted to join the caretaker chief minister at the polling booth to cast his vote. Oza prevailed upon his father and avoided an embarrassment.
"The BJP is a third-rate pseudo-Hindutva party. Their pseudo-Hindutva rapes Hindus minds... I could not get over the images of February 28 and March 1, 2 and 3 [when riots took place in the state]."
Asked who was responsible for the polarisation of votes, he said, "I blame Star, Zee and Aaj Tak television channels. You kept showing only the atrocities on Muslims and pushed Hindus on Modi's side.
"The Hindus were happy when you showed the plight of the Muslims. They thought the Muslims were suffering like them for the first time in history. And when you, the media, showed that the riots were 'state sponsored' you actually made Modi a hero. Your high-pitched coverage went against the interest of the Muslims... I blame the media for creating Modi."
He however, said, "I am very sure the Congress will form the government. I am sure that rural votes were in favour of [Gujarat Congress chief Shankarsinh] Vaghela and urban votes were in favour of Modi. If rural voting is more, the victory of the Congress is ensured."
Asked if he had any regrets, he said: "This election was 100% worth fighting for. But I regret that I could not demolish the pseudo-Hindutva [stand] of the BJP. The Congress could not take on the issue of terrorism."