Former President of Samta Party – party formed by the former Defence Minister George Fernandes that later merged with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) – and a close aide of George Fernandes, Jaya Jaitly has rubbished the claims that George was angry with the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi after the 2002 riots broke out.
These claims were spread on Twitter by some political trolls, especially by an abusive journalist named Swati Chaturvedi, and was talked about at length recently. The abusive journalist-cum-troll claimed that an “angry and agitated” George Fernandes had told her (presumably in an interview) that he felt like sending tanks to Gujarat in 2002.
The claim suggested that George Fernandes believed that Narendra Modi was not taking enough steps to control the riots and that he felt helpless as a cabinet minister – an indictment of both the state government led by Narendra Modi as well as the central government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The claims made by the abusive journalist-cum-troll were questioned on Twitter recently with many people pointing out that transcript or archive of no such interview could be found on Hindustan Times website, where the abusive journalist was reportedly employed at that time.
This report published in our user generated chapter My Voice deals in details about the mysterious interview with George Fernandes, that is being alleged as made up by many people.
One benefit of doubt that the abusive journalist Swati Chaturvedi could be given in was, that her supposedly fake interview of George Fernandes took place in 2001, so there must be another interview of George – real or made up we don’t know – where the former Defence Minister talked about 2002 riots.
But now Jaya Jaitly has clarified that no way George could be angry or upset with Narendra Modi, and thus either another interview was made up again in 2002 or the abusive journalist-cum-troll is lying now about having talked to George.
Writing for The News Minute, Jaya Jaitly clarified that Narendra Modi was in constant touch with George Fernandes during the 2002 riots and the Army was deployed as soon as possible to control the riots. She called claims made by likes of Swati Chaturvedi as “distortion of facts”.
“There could be no reason, as has apparently been stated, for the Defence Minister to wish that the army had been sent to Gujarat when it was in fact asked for immediately, and sent under his very leadership.” Jaya Jaitly wrote.
She further mentioned that George was in the streets of Ahmedabad to oversee the Army taking control of the situation. And once things were in control, he organised a ‘citizens’ peace march’ of around 7000 people, which was addressed by Narendra Modi too.
Ms. Jaitly expressed anguish that some people had taken to spread such distortion and lies about George Fernandes at a time when George can’t clarify or defend himself. It should be noted that the former Defence Minister is suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and not in a position to come up with any public statements.
After this clarification and putting the facts on records by Ms. Jaitley, the ball is now again in Hindustan Times’ court and the newspaper must clarify if such interview(s) ever took place. Did they employ a delusional journalist who kept on making up facts and interviews? Or did they withdraw the interview(s) and fire her for such unethical behaviour as some on Twitter claim?