Stepping up the Congress campaign in Gujarat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said minorities, including some government officials, feel “insecure” under the Narendra Modi government. Addressing a poll rally here, he also accused the BJP of indulging in “divisive politics”.
Addressing a separate rally in Vadodara, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde accused the BJP of “orchestrating riots”.
This is the first time that the Congress is playing the minority or riots card in this campaign. As reported by The Sunday Express, while party president Sonia Gandhi refrained from mentioning the riots during her rallies, the Congress’s manifesto also avoids any mention of minorities.
“Kisi bhi sarkar ya prashasan ki yeh zimmedari hoti hai ki woh alpsankhyakon aur kamzor tabako ko surakshit mehsus karaye. Gujarat sarkar is zimmedari ki taraf bilkul dhyan nahi de rahi hai (It is the responsibility of any government to make minorities and weaker sections feel secure. The Gujarat government is not giving attention to this,” said the PM while addressing a huge rally here today.
“Is rajya se baar baar shikayat aa rahi hai, alpsankhyak aur kuch tabake apne aap ko asurakshit mehsus kar rahe hein, yeh tak ke rajya sarkar ke kuch adhikario ne bhi aesi shikayat ki hein. Yeh humare desh ke liye bade dukh ki baat hein ki is tarah ka mahol Mahatma Gandhi ke state mein bana hua hai (There have been repeated complaints from this state that minorities and some sections are feeling insecure, even some government officials have complained about this. It is very sad that such an environment persists in the land of Mahatma Gandhi),” he said.
“Our opposition party plays politics to divide the sections of society on the basis of religion and caste,” said the PM. “The time has come to liberate Gujarat from this type of politics and to not let those people come back to power who have been trying to get votes by dividing our society and country,” he added, without naming Modi.
Contesting the Modi government’s development claims, Singh said: “The development of Gujarat is focussed among a few sections of people, a major part of the population is left behind... We just want to know who are the beneficiaries — whether the development reaches villages, minorities and other poor sections of society.”
Stating that 41 per cent of the state’s women are victims of malnourishment, he said the enrollment of minorities in schools in Gujarat has gone