Sonia attacks Modi govt over communal violence

NEW DELHI – Mounting a frontal attack on Narendra Modi government, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has said that there has been an increase in communal violence in India since it came to power and alleged this was part of a deliberate attempt to divide the people.

Speaking at a party forum for the first time after the Lok Sabha polls, Sonia Gandhi said recurrence of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other parts of India was a matter of grave concern, remarks which came days after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had alleged that communal conflicts in UP have been deliberately engineered.

“There has been an increase in communal violence in the country since 11 weeks of the BJP-led government coming to power at the centre... These were deliberately created to divide the people,” she said addressing a special convention organised by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

“More than 600 incidents of communal violence happened in Uttar Pradesh and, perhaps, as many in Maharashtra,” she said. “During the UPA I and II rule hardly any such incident had happened,” she said. She also criticised the Modi government for its failure to sufficiently express solidarity with the Palestinian people over Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Alluding to the reluctance of the government to adopt a resolution on the issue in the Lok Sabha, she said this has muted the country’s response to the suffering people and betrayed its long tradition of solidarity with the people in Palestine and the vision of two states existing side-by-side in peace and harmony.

Urging the Congress workers to strongly stick to their ideological moorings of secularism and peace to strengthen the party to meet the challenges ahead, Sonia said the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru this year provided an opportunity to organise campaigns on this theme.

BJP had hit back at Rahul Gandhi, saying it was Congress which was doing communal politics and the statement itself reflected such thinking. The Congress president also voiced concern over the increase in violence against women and said this went against the idea of all people having equal rights in the society to pursue happiness and prosperity.

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