Ahmedabad: The Narendra Modi government in Gujarat on Wednesday defended itself in the Naroda Patiya case saying BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, who has been convicted, was not a member of the party at the time of the 2002 riots. Kodnani is among the 32 convicted in the Naroda Patiya massacre case which took place during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"Maya Kodnani was not a minister when the incident happened. We are not denying that she is an MLA from the party now. But an MLA is not a state government functionary," Gujarat government spokesperson Jai Narayan Vyas said.
Vyas also said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi won't resign due to the verdict. He also said the party will go through the judgement and take appropriate legal advice. "We will read the judgement and take appropriate legal advise, can't link everything to the party," Vyas said.
A trial court in Gujarat convicted 32 people and acquitted 29 others in the Naroda Patiya massacre case. Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, too, have been convicted in the case.
Kodnani, who is the first BJP leader to be convicted in a riot case, was the sitting MLA when the Naroda Patiya massacre in which 97 people were killed on February 28, 2002 took place. She and Bajrangi have been convicted under Indian Penal Code Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder).