Manohar Parrikar has exposed Narendra Modi, says Congress

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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's remarks that the 2002 riots in Gujarat were a clear-cut case of administrative failure and bad example of governance have "exposed" Narendra Modi's claims about good governance, the Congress said Thursday.

It suggested that the comments have vindicated its argument that Modi, as chief minister, did not act to control the riots.

The BJP, however, played down the remarks Parrikar made in an interview to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta for NDTV's Walk the Talk programme.

The Congress invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's "follow rajdharma" comment to Modi after the post-Godhra riots to argue that the party has been saying what Parrikar has said now.

"We have been saying this since 2002. Even Vajpayee had told Modi to follow rajdharma. Now BJP chief ministers are also saying the same. Although it is a late realisation, it is always better late than never," Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said.

The JD(U), which snapped its 17-year association with the BJP over the elevation of the Gujarat chief minister as the BJP's 2014 election campaign chief - too hit out at Modi. "He (Parikkar) is right. If a chief minister resolves, a riot can be put down in half a day. What happened was very bad," JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said.

Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said the Congress has no reason to question Parikkar's conclusion. "He has said that there was administrative failure. We agree. The remarks are a severe blow to Modi's claims about good governance and decision making," he said.

Chacko pointed out that Parikkar's remarks and Advani's earlier assertion that Modi had inherited an "economically healthy state" should be read together.

"If you read these two statements together, it exposes all of Modi's claims about good governance, economic development and decision making," he said, adding that the Gujarat chief minister's "so-called" performance claims are increasingly coming under question from within the BJP itself. "More than the Congress, the BJP is questioning his claims," he said.

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