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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    June 20, 2004

    I am unsure about whether to pass judgement on whether Ishrat Jahan Raza, shot dead by the Ahmedabad police on June 15, was really a terrorist or not. I am skeptical about the claims by the Ahmedabad police that the 'terrorists' were connected with the Lashkar-e-Toiba and had a plan to assassinate the CM Narendra Modi. This is purely because of the timing. Barely a couple of days before this incident, Vajpayee had conceded that not removing Modi as CM following the Gujarat riots was a mistake and that it affected the BJP in the LS polls. Then a tug-of-war started within the Sangh parivar as various people in the BJP & RSS came out with statements on what Vajpayee actually meant and whether Modi was responsible for the BJP's defeat in the general election or not.

    Modi needed all the good press that he could garner, at this juncture. He needed to project himself as someone who cannot and should not be disowned by the BJP. The BJP had invested substantially in him, especially the way he addressed rallies not only in Gujarat, but in other states as well. His vitriolic campaign against Sonia, Rahul & Priyanka thrilled the BJP and gave them a sense of bloated self-confidence. Modi is also seen as being among the next generation leaders in the BJP, representing the hardline view. With the convenient killing of a few 'terrorists' from the Lashkar who were out to kill him Modi would have successfully brought a sympathy factor upon himself.

    Modi's strategy has worked. As we went to press, it was announced that Modi would continue as Gujarat CM and that the issue was now a thing of the past!

    Prem Shankar Jha offers his opinion on Vajpayee's assertion.

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