'Reluctant Narendra Modi should not be forced to apologise for riots'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 10 2013, 23:05pm hrs
BusinessPilot said that he does not think it is a matter of apology but rather a matter of what one believes in.
An apology for the post-2002 Godhra riots must come from "within" Narendra Modi as one which is forced is worthless, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said today dismissing BJP Chief Rajnath Singh's remarks that the Gujarat Chief Minister was sullen over the riots.

The Union Minister, who is a key member in Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's team, also felt that Narendra Modi's projection by the BJP as prime ministerial candidate could be favourable for the Congress than his own party, reminding that Congress' tally had increased by 50 seats, when L K Advani was named the Opposition Party's PM candidate in 2009.

"If anybody ever forces some body to do something especially an apology, that apology is worth nothing. It must come from within, if someone has to do it. I recall Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a comment on the floor of the House (about anti-Sikh riots).

"Nobody put a gun to his head. It is something that came from within him. He said which he had to say in full public view as the Prime Minister of India. But if someone, who is nowhere close to that position, he is so reluctant and feels so unapologetic about something, then why must anybody force him to apologise," Pilot said.

He was replying to a question as to whether Congress would ask Narendra Modi to render an apology for Gujarat riots and asked to comment on BJP President Rajnath Singh's recent remarks that the Gujarat chief minister was sullen over the violence.

Pilot said that he does not think it is a matter of apology but rather a matter of what one believes in.

"It is a matter of what you believe in. You can orchestrate and pretend it for 24 hours in day but not for all of the time. So the reality will shine somewhere. But what my core belief is what I am. I can say all the good things, you will ultimately see what real person I am.

"So all these TRP ratings in half an hour TV shots, short interviews is OK but the reality will come out and I think people will judge," the minister said.