It is rightly said that there is no permanent friends or foes in politics. The NCP which is an ally of the ruling Democratic Front led by Congress has softened its stand on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi after he was given a clean chit in the 2002 Godhra riots issue. NCP leader Praful Patel said that the matter surrounding Modi in the 2002 riots must be put to rest after a clean chit by SIT sparked political speculation between Congress and NCP. Thus the Modi issue has become a bone of contention between both the parties. It also puts a question mark over the secular stand followed by NCP. Both the parties have been indulging in a game of one upmanship as NCP has been demanding more seats for contesting the Lok Sabha election. The tussle between both the parties will only intensify on account of the upcoming election.
The Congress party is upset with the pro-Modi statement issued by Praful Patel which has created a rift between both parties. Hussain Dalwai, ex-Maharashtra minister said, “I am upset with the comments issued by NCP leader Praful Patel. Either Patel must be unaware about History or else he might have become insensitive despite being aware about the past incidents. How he can forget that many women were killed in Gujarat riots. The NCP is sending wrong signals by remaining in alliance with the Congress.”
BJP leader Gopinath Munde was pleased with the pro-Modi statements made by Patel. He said, “BJP welcomes the statement issued by the NCP. Finally they realized that Narendra Modi was innocent and didn’t have any role in the Gujarat riots. By now even Congress too need to realize that Modi was not involved in the riots.”
When asked whether this statement indicates that the NCP is getting close to BJP and is interested in joining NDA Munde said, “No it’s not true. We are not going to join hands with NCP. This time our party will come to power hence there is no need to have an alliance with the NCP.”
A NCP leader spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity said, “If the judicial system has given a verdict then we have to respect it. We need to not question it further. Politics is not just about the judicial system. Our senior leader Praful Patel has not done anything wrong and the Congress need not blow this issue out of proportion. We all need to respect the verdict of Supreme Court and even Congress needs to do the same.”