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Gujarat polls: Lyngdoh hits back at Modi

Press Trust of India

Posted: Aug 24, 2002 at 1113 hrs IST

Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh hit back at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for attacking him on religious grounds saying it was "quite despicable" and "gossip of menials" who have not heard of atheism.

Breaking his silence on the controversy over the decision not to hold early polls in Gujarat, Lyngdoh stoutly defended his action saying he had acted entirely on the basis of ground realities and that the Commission's decision was unanimous.

"Well it is quite despicable. I can say in a few words that it is the gossip of menials who have not heard of atheism," he told Star News when asked about his response to the criticism of his decision.

The criticism faced by the EC after its Gujarat election order was a "reflection of how poor the polity is" while maintaining that it did not affect his work. Asked how he felt when his religion was even questioned in the wake of Modi referring to his Christian faith, Lyngdoh shot back, "I have no religion. In fact I think that religion is responsible for many of these problems."

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