Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
did nothing positive on Gujarat:
Narayanan, the former President of
Indo-Asian News Service
riots were the result of a "conspiracy" between the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) governments in the state and at the Centre, which also
led to the Army not being given powers to stem the violence, says
former President KR Narayanan.
an interview with the Malayalam magazine Manava Samskrithi,
Narayanan said he, as President, wrote several letters to then Prime
Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and even spoke to him about the
"But he did not do anything positive," the former President said
about the 2002 sectarian violence in which over 1,000 people were
Narayanan also dwelt at length on the role of the Army, its move not
to shoot at rioters and its inability to curtail the riots that went
on for three months.
Holding the Vajpayee government culpable for the Army's failure in
controlling the situation, he said: "I asked the Army to be deployed
to suppress the violence. If asked by the state government (led by
Narendra Modi) for the Army to be deployed to take control of law
and order, the Centre is constitutionally bound and it is the duty
of the Centre.
"The Army was sent, but there was no shooting against those who
created the violence. Had that been done, a lot of gruesome
incidents that occurred later, could have been prevented."
The former President went on to add forcefully: "If the Army was
given the powers to suppress the violence, the gruesome tragedy in
could have been more or less eliminated. But the state government
did not do it; the Centre also did not do it. It was a conspiracy
between the state and the central government that was responsible
Narayanan was replying to a question on why he appeared sad and
uncomfortable during his last days in office.
his interview with Congress legislator and magazine editor PT
Thomas, Narayanan accused the BJP of having "hidden agendas" and
said it prevented him from contesting for a second term.
"The Left parties had approached me to contest for a second term.
When I asked them where was the support to ensure that I would win,
they were mum.
"The BJP government had several hidden agendas and education was one
area where they tried to put forward their ideology. I intervened
when they came up with some names for the post of vice-chancellors,
which created bad blood with my relations with Murali Manohar Joshi
and a few others."
said the intervention was purely democratic and according to the
Constitution. "Above all, my interests were only in line with
secular interests." .................
Narayanan, who was President from 1997 to 2002,.........