Friday, December 14, 2007

Modi responds to EC

http://bjp.org/ Press/dec_ 2007/dec_ 0807_p.htm

From:
Narendra D. Modi
Gandhinagar.

To
The Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan,
Ashoka Road,
New Delhi.110001.

*Subject: Your Notice dated 6th December 2007 to Shri Narendra Modi,
Chief
Minister, Gujarat State.*

Sir,

I am in receipt of your notice dated 6th December 2007 wherein on the
basis
of the media reports and a complaint dated 5th December 2007 filed by
Teesta
Setalvad, I am alleged to have made an open exhortation to violence and
misused of religion for political ends. The Election Commission has
further
stated that by linking the name of Sohrabuddin to terrorism in my speech
amounts to indulging in activity which may aggravate existing
differences,
creating mutual hatred and causing tension between different
communities. I
deny this charge in its entirety.

1. The Commission has acted on the basis of a complaint which alleges
that
my stand is contrary to what the State of Gujarat has stated in its
affidavit before the Supreme Court. The basis of the complaint appears
to be
a report dated 5th December 2007 of the Times of India by one Shri
Prashant
Dayal. The relevant extract in the Times of India reads as under:

Modi...you tell what should be done to Sohrabuddin?
People at the rally: Kill him, kill him.
Modi: Well, that is what I did. And I did what was necessary."

The last sentence of the report of the Times of India has generated
controversy in the whole nation. Television Channels and News Papers
have
made comments to the effect that I have stated that 'Sohrabuddin got
what he
deserved', or that 'it is a confessional statement by me' or that 'Modi
has
justified a murder'. All other news papers cuttings which the Commission
has
taken into account are dated 6th December 2007, which do not report my
speech delivered on 4th December, 2007 but are comments inspired by
false
imputation in the Times of India. This last sentence is not reflected in
the
CD as having been used by me.

2. 'The Statesman' dated 6th December 2007 quoted me as having said -
"he (Sohrabuddin) has got what he deserved": The Hindustan Times of 6th
December quoted me as saying "Well then, that's it." I had on 6th
December
2007, immediately after receiving Election Commission's notice requested
that I may be supplied copy of the CD of the speech and also various
inputs
which have influenced the issuance of the notice. I have since received
the
copy of CD on the evening of 7th December 2007 at 5.45 p.m. I find none
of
the above statements are contained in my speech as recorded in the CD.
The
E.C. notice is issued on the basis of unverified and false media
reports.

3 As I am also involved in a campaign I am sending this as a preliminary
reply, which I am sure would satisfy the Election Commission with regard
to
the contents of my speech. Before I answer specifics raised in the
notice
and the complaint, I wish to state that India is governed by Rule of law
and
Constitution. I am entitled to my right of free speech. Free and fair
election involves a debate on the political issues in the market place
of
politics. When statements are made by political opponents, others are
entitled to reply to them. The tone and content of the statement must
necessarily adhere to the Model Code of Conduct. I wish to categorically
state that I regard the Election Commission as a constitutional
authority
under an obligation to ensure free and fair election which will also
defend
my right of free speech against those who have started hate campaign
against
me.

4. On 1st December 2007, AICC President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi visited
Gujarat
and referred to me by suggesting those who are ruling Gujarat are
"liars,
dishonest and merchants of fear and death (Maut-ke-Soudagar) ." On 3rd
December 2007, AICC General Secretary Mr. Digvijay Singh visited Gujarat
and
referred to it as a State which has unleashed "Hindu terrorism." The
newspapers reported these statements extensively. Separate complaints
with
regard to the violation of the Code of Conduct were sent to the Election
Commission by the Gujarat Unit of BJP. No action has been taken against
those responsible for these statements by the Election Commission. I am
sure
the Election Commission would at least now proceed to take action on
those
reports.

5. One of the critical issues in our country is the problem of
terrorism.
India has lost the lives almost 90,000 of innocent citizens and security
personnel in the last 17 years to terror. In the last four years, 5,619
innocents have been killed by the terrorist. The Government of Gujarat
has a
strong policy against terrorism. I believe that UPA and Congress party
is
indulging in Vote Bank politics and have sent soft signals on terrorism.
My
party and I have repeatedly made these charges against the Congress
Party.
In Gujarat only one life has been lost in the last four years through
terror. This is a result of our strong policy against terrorism. The
Nation
and the people of Gujarat are entitled to witness a fair debate on
terrorism. If any of the view point is censored or not permitted it will
be
interference in the right of free speech. Our Constitution and the
election
commission's obligation to conduct free and fair election will not
extend to
preventing me from expressing my strong views against terrorism..

6 My speech, therefore, has to be read entirely in this context. It was
a
political response to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi referring to me as those who
rule
the Gujarat as a 'Mout-ke-saudagar' . Surely it cannot be policy of the
Election commission first to ignore the violation of the Code of Conduct
in
her statement and then censor my political response to that statement. I
have gone through my speech on the CD supplied. It is merely a response
to
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi calling me "Mout-ka-Saudagar" .

7. This part of my speech was entirely against terrorism. I criticized
the
Congress President for calling me a 'Maut Ka Saudagar´. I responded that
the
"Maut Ka Saudagar" are all those who attacked parliament. It is the
Congress
party which is delaying the execution of the guilty accused. I have made
a
reference to the Sohrabuddin' s case and mentioned the allegations
against
him. I have accused the Congress of suggesting that I have engineered a
fake
encounter. I said that I am open for any action on this count. At no
point
of time I have either justified the specific encounter of Sohrabuddin' s
case, nor have I used the specific inculpatery sentences used in the
Times
of India Report. It is clear that my comment is a part of my speech
where on
several occasions I have put questions to the audience which the
audience
has answered. It is my political response to Smt. Gandhi's allegation
that I
am Maut-ka-Sodagar. I have replied back alleging that the Congress party
is
helping those who have spread terrorism in the country. It is clear that
Times of India's article which began this controversy, invented my
comment
to the effect "Modi: Well that is what I did. And I did what was
necessary".
The CD clearly indicates that this sentence was an invention of author
and
not the orator. The comments in the media that 'Modi justified murder'
or
that 'he made confessional statement' as being privy to murder or that
Modi
declared in the meeting that 'Sohrabuddin got what he deserved' do not
find
a mention in the CD. These are journalistic inventions intended to
engineer
a 'Hate Modi' campaign and not evidenced in the CD supplied by the
Election
Commission. My criticism in the media was concocted and engineered by
this
'Hate Modi' Campaign. No where in my speech have I explicitly referred
to
the religion of any person. I have spoken against terrorism. It is not
my
speech but the complaint which assumes terrorism is linked to a
religion.

8. Am I to be prevented from giving my point that terrorism will not be
allowed on the soil of Gujarat or that Congress is soft on the terrors
and
thereby helping "Maut-ka-Sodagar" If Election Commission imposes any
such
regulation, it would offend our constitutional values and my right of
free
speech. At no stage I have controverted the affidavit filed by the
Gujarat
Government in the Supreme Court of India. I have already clarified my
position that I do not support fake encounters. Encounters can occur but
there should be no fake encounters. I have nowhere tried to prejudice
any
pending litigation. I am fully committed to the enforcement of the Model
Code of Conduct by the Election Commission and shall comply with it. I
believe that the Election Commission should not be misled by motivated
media
reports which are based on falsehood.

I, therefore, request the Election Commission to withdraw this notice.

------------ --------
(Narendra Modi)
Date. 8.12.2007.

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