- For the third consecutive time, Narendra Modi has been elected chief minister
of Gujarat. The
candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP, the Hindu nationalist party) won in 118 seats out of 182, against the 59
won by the Congress Party of Sonia
"predictable" victory, according to Fr. Cedric
Prakash, director of the Ahmedabad based Jesuit human rights, justice and peace
center Prashant, always great
dissenter of the BJP leader. In fact, Modi is a
controversial figure. Considered
to be the man of the economic reforms, which in recent years have made Gujarat
one of the richest states in the country, over him hangs the 2002 massacres between
Hindus and Muslims, for which he has always been held accountable and investigated.
for which he has never apologized to the victims.
According to Fr. Cedric Prakash, "now he will seek to become prime minister of India, but it will be the end of the BJP. His policies are based on exclusion and the division, and it was by focusing on this that he won again. Yet India is an inclusive country. Modi will not be the Prime Minister of India. "
On 27 February 2002 the carnage of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra took place, when a group of Muslims attacked and set fire to the train, on which Hindus returning from Ayodhya, the site of an ancient mosque taken over years ago by Hindus, were travelling . The attack - which killed 58 people - also sparked violent inter-religious riots across Gujarat, where the Islamic community paid the highest price, with nearly 2 thousand victims. Modi is accused of conspiring in the fighting, for not taking any action to stop it and never having established any investigation.
This very attitude has led to the polarization of Gujarati society, where several times in the past, Muslims have complained of being "second-class citizens."