May 11 ; Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha revealed that then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was set to sack the then chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi after the 2002 Godhra riots, but withheld the decision as Home Minister LK Advani had threatened to resign from the Cabinet on the issue.
“After the communal riots in Gujarat, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had decided that then state chief minister Narendra Modi should resign. While going to the national executive committee meeting in Goa in 2002, Atal ji had made up his mind that the Gujarat government would be dismissed if Modi ji refused to resign,” former Union finance minister claimed.
“There was a meeting within the party. According to my information, Advani ji had opposed this (dismissing the Modi government) and he told Atal ji that if Modi ji is dismissed then he (Advani) would resign from the government. So, he (Vajpayee) withheld the decision and Modi ji continued,” Sinha said at a meet-the-press programme in Bhopal.
When asked about PM Modi’s allegation that late PM Rajiv Gandhi used INS Viraat as a “personal taxi”, Sinha said these are non-issues and that former naval officers had already issued clarifications on it.
“It is not as per the dignity of a prime minister to speak lies like this,” Sinha said, adding the Lok Sabha polls were being fought on PM Modi government’s performance and not on the country’s history.
“It is unfortunate that the issue of Pakistan is being raised in the elections. He hyphenated our country with Pakistan. Are we a country of Pakistan’s category? There is no talk about China, which must be feeling happy with the Pakistan rhetoric,” claimed the former foreign minister.
This is being done because China’s mention doesn’t generate a reaction like that of Pakistan does,” he added.
Accusing the Modi government of playing “mischief” with statistics, Sinha said GDP data during the previous UPA government was higher than during the current NDA government.