New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday flayed Gujarat government for withholding its decision to seek death for Maya Kodnani in the Naroda Patiya case, saying there has been no change in the mindset of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his feelings about a community. "It proves that Modi has not changed. He was like this in the past and will remain so in the future. There has been no change in his mindset and his feelings about a community," party spokesperson Meem Afzal said.
The rethink on Kodnani and others comes after Modi government came under criticism from right wing forces for its earlier decision to go ahead with the Supreme Court-appointed SIT's recommendation to seek death penalty for Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi and eight others in the 2002 riots case.
The state government had earlier given its consent to file an appeal in the High Court seeking death sentence for Kodnani, Bajrangi and others, who were awarded life term by a lower court. Taking a dig at BJP over its campaign against the government, he said there cannot be any compromise with the life of an individual. "The life of an individual is more than a scam of Rs one lakh crore," he said.
He charged that Modi's decision on Kodnani is aimed at diverting attention from the Chief Minister's "utter failure" in the Karnataka polls. Besides, he said, the High Court's observation against the Chief Minister in Ishrat Jahan case should prompt the Chief Minister to resign.
He charged the BJP with adopting different yardsticks on judicial observations. It wants the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on some Supreme Court observations but is mum on observations against Modi by the High Court.
Reacting to the move, Mukhul Sinha, lawyer for the victims in the case, said, "Right from the beginning we have been saying that so far as the enhancement of the punishment from life sentence to death sentence is concerned nobody from the victim's side had ever demanded that. "So, we were quite surprised when the government took the decision. At that point of time also, we said that the decision was not so much to do with the legal aspects of the case but it was more to do with the politics".
CPI leader D Raja said, "Let the court take cognisance of all these matters and law should take its course. But the issue is not that, there is new evidences against Modi in Zakia Zafri case where police was prevented in acting to solve those killings. It is a serious matter".