Sunday, Apr 07, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, taking the salute at the national convention of the All-India Congress Seva Dal in New Delhi on Saturday.
Rapping the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, for visiting Gujarat more than a month after the violent incidents took place, Ms. Gandhi said that even during the visit he took along those who masterminded the orgy of violence and killings.
"Everybody knows that the same ideology is responsible for the violence in Gujarat which was also behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. People owing allegiance to this ideology did not participate in the country's freedom struggle, they have only worked to create a rift in the society and divide the country,'' she said without naming the Sangh Parivar.
Addressing the annual meeting of the All-India Seva Dal here, Ms. Gandhi accused the Centre and State Governments of turning a "blind eye" to the heart-rending incidents of violence in Gujarat.
Ms. Gandhi accused the Centre of "lacking in its intention" to uphold the principles of the Constitution. "Those occupying the power at the Centre have wrong views and attitude. Their each step is only to ensure their continuance in power. The country is run on certain principles and ideals and a historical perspective. These principles demand that every citizen is treated equally. The country is not managed merely by rhetoric but by action and that too by result-oriented policies,'' she said.
"Godhra and Gujarat violence were condemned by the entire country. But there is no impact on the Government. The Centre, instead of taking action against the State Government and the Chief Minister, even failed to condemn the killings of innocent people in the State,'' she said.
Ms. Gandhi said that even the reports of the National Human Rights Commission were ignored and accused the Government of downplaying the cruelties committed on the people.
Referring to the passage of POTA through a joint sitting of Parliament, she accused the BJP-led Government of pursuing double standards on the issue as they had earlier opposed TADA.
``This law would be used more against those who are political opponents of the BJP and their allies. It would not help in tackling terrorism but would only create a new kind of terrorism,'' she said.
Ms. Gandhi lauded the role of the Seva Dal in strengthening the party set-up and spreading its secular ideology.
Senior party leaders, Moti Lal Vora, Mohsina Kidwai, Shivraj Prasad, Janardan Dwivedi and 500 district presidents of the organisation were present.
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