BJP creating religious divide ahead of elections: SoniaSeptember 14th, 2008 - 12:11 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) With an eye on assembly election in six states, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday blamed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other members of the saffron brigade of trying to divide and polarise the country on communal lines.Addressing the extended Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here, Gandhi, also the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson, alleged that the communal violence in Orissa was “a carefully orchestrated ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its sister organisations to inflame religious prejudices and passions.”
She called on the party-men to expose the “mischievous designs” of the BJP, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and fight their “malicious propaganda”.
“Every time their position is weakened, every time elections are around the corner the BJP and its sister organisations launch vicious communal campaign to divide and polarise society, with no regard to loss of lives and livelihoods,” Sonia said.
She urged Congressmen to go out and work hard to sustain the secular ethos of the country.
While condemning the terrorism, the Congress president said: “We must also never under-estimate the long-term damage that is caused by communal and parochial forces of any kind that incite hatred wilfully and cynically provoke violence.”
The COngress president accused the RSS of advocating division of the troubled Jammu and Kashmir, where stir over bitter Amarnath land row sparked off unprecedented religious riots.
But she added the government would not be “soft” on the separatists in Kashmir.
“There is no question of pandering to or being soft on separatists,” the Congress president said.
Gandhi hoped the final agreement on the Amarnath land row between the government and Hindu agitators in Jammu would bring peace to the state.
The meeting attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states, union ministers and senior party leaders in the meeting held discussions on upcoming assembly polls. Party leaders of poll-bound states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Mizoram shared their views on how to galvanise the Congress in these states.