New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh Sunday termed the 2002 Gujarat riots as "unfortunate".
He said the Congress made every attempt to blame Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the violence.
The attack and burning of a train in Godhra led to the carnage of the minority Muslims. Hundreds were dead, property was destroyed on a large scale, rapes were widespread, and innocent were burnt alive.
"One of our states is Gujarat. I agree an unfortunate incident took place. Who does not agree that it was unfortunate?" Rajnath Singh said.
"Attempts were made to blame Modi as if the chief minister planned the riots," he said, while addressing a meeting of the BJP's minority cell here.
The BJP president said during his personal interactions with Modi, he tried to read his facial expressions. "He looks so sad...what is wrong with the people? Is it politics?"
He said people should ask Muslims of the state whether they feel any discrimination under the BJP's rule.
Singh also used the occasion to lash out at the Congress for adopting the "divide and rule" policy.
"Whether Congress adopted any other policy of the British or not, they have at least adopted their divide and rule policy... Congress and some other political parties have tried to sow seeds of division in the country," he said.
Attacking the Congress, the BJP chiefg said a party which has ruled the country for over 50 years should have ensured that relations between Hindus and Muslims improve. "...Was it not their responsibility?" he asked.
He claimed several schemes meant for minorities have remained "non-starters" despite being announced by the United Progressive Alliance government.