First, the Nanavati commission report on the Godhra riots. The commission made two very important points:
- The fire in the train was the result of a conspiracy, it was not a reaction to teasing carried out by kar sewaks after the train arrived at Godhra
- There was no indication that the post-Godhra riots were planned. They appeared to be the result of outrage caused by media reports.
The other blow is the Tata group's decision to locate Nano in Gujarat. The photo of Ratan Tata and Narendra Modi with their arms wrapped around each other while announcing the decision cannot have gladdened Modi's critics. What will they do now? Will they dare to criticise Tata's decision? They should spare themselves the trouble. Long before the Nano project, several businessmen, including Tata, have forged close ties with Modi over several Vibrant Gujarat summits.
Soon after the Godhra riots, the CII attempted a mild condemnation of Modi. There was a revolt in the Gujarat chapter. Tarun Das of CII had to rush to Gandhinagar to make amends and he was seen embracing Modi at the time. As Modi himself has pointed out in an interview with ToI today, businessmen's preference for Gujarat has little to do with which party is in power. But it is also true that businessmen are not going to be deterrred by what social activists think of a particular government.