Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Wednesday sent a clear warning to the opposition that BJP would not fight shy of raising the Godhra issue during Gujarat assembly election if it persisted in "unleashing intemperate attacks" on Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP and its leadership.
Advani, replying to a discussion on Gujarat, told Rajya Sabha, "I will like to tell you that looking at several speeches that have been made... against the Gujarat government, against Modi... then do you think we will not raise questions about what happened in Godhra."
His statement comes days after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee appealed not to communalise the election campaign by raising issues like the Godhra incident.
"We will surely raise this issue," a visibly agitated Advani said, while making it clear that India could never be converted into a theocratic Hindu state and that the National Democratic Alliance government was committed to the constitutional mandate of secularism in letter and spirit.
Dissatisfied with his reply, the Left parties staged a walkout.
Reacting to the charge that recent communal violence in the state had caused a set back to its economy, Advani said that between March and September this year Gujarat has received FDI inflow of Rs 1095 crore, which was 14 per cent of the total for the country.
Advani said Gujarat riots were unfortunate and shameful, but were not instigated by the state government or the police.
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