Revenge speech a 'question of interpretation', says Amit Shah

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 23, 2014 17:05 hrs

New Delhi: BJP general secretary Amit Shah on Wednesday said he was initially convinced he had made remarks regarding the Muzaffarnagar riots after due consideration, but the Election Commission was the supreme authority in interpretation of poll speeches and he respected its directive.

In an interview to NDTV, Shah also said that BJP leaders had not made personal attacks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and their remarks were in reference to controversies surrounding his alleged land deals.

Asked about his remarks over the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots that led to his censure from the poll panel, Shah said, "This is a question of interpretation."

"I spoke after due consideration, I used to feel that. The Election Commission (EC) is the supreme authority for interpretation of speeches given during the election period. The EC said there were certain things (in my speech) which should not have been there. I accepted it. The EC said some things should not have been spoken. According to my interpretation, these were right. If EC has said, I abide by it, respect it," Shah added.

Shah, considered close to Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, had asked voters to cast their ballot and take revenge for the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The EC allowed Shah to resume campaigning in Uttar Pradesh after he apologised and promised not to use derogatory language or do anything violative of the Model Code of Conduct.

Shah, the BJP general secretary in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, said Congress campaign centred around a family but his party's campaign was about issues faced by the people. "Their campaign is centred around a political family. Our campaign is about issues faced by the people," he said.

The BJP was fighting to get an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, he said. "We are fighting to get more than 272 seats. I have confidence that our alliance will get more than 272 seats. If we win more than 272 seats, even then we will need support of all parties for the progress of the country," Shah said.

Asked about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's remarks about allegations against her husband Robert, Shah denied the BJP was making personal attacks and added the remarks were in reference to the controversies faced by Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law. Asked why the BJP does not file a case against Robert, Shah said the party was not in power at the centre.

"When the government is formed and all facts are brought forward, then we will see what it is. Modi has clarified that no action (will be taken) on the basis of vindictiveness," Shah said.

Asked if he will get a prominent post in the Prime Minister's Office if Modi gets to the helm of affairs in Delhi, Shah said the party has given him a responsibility and he was working to strengthen the organisation. "My priority is organisation," he said.

Asked which of the two seats -- Varanasi or Vadodara -- Modi will relinquish, Shah said the party will take a decision.

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