Congress president Sonia Gandhi virtually launched her party’s election campaign in Gujarat on Saturday, calling upon a large gathering of women to throw out the government of ‘hatred, injustice and corruption’.
Addressing the party’s ‘Mahila Samman Sammelan’, Sonia told the crowd of nearly two lakh that Gujarat’s pride can be restored only if such a government led by people who espouse hatred and injustice is thrown out.
The rally, comprising mostly women, is significant as a communal polarisation in this very area after the 2002 riots had led to the rout of the Congress last time.
This was Sonia’s fourth successful rally in Gujarat to have drawn impressive gatherings in four different regions of the state.
After the well-attended rally of tribals at Dahod in easthern Gujarat in January this year, the Congress president had subsequently received large crowds at Porbandar, in the coastal region in April and Mehsana in northern Gujarat in May.
Rekindling the sentiments of the gathering, Sonia said only mothers and sisters can understand the feeling of insult and hurt of the ‘barbaric’ acts against women in 2002.
Making a frontal attack on the Narendra Modi government and the BJP, she said acts of physical violence against women cannot be allowed in any civilised society and appealed to the women to utilise their ‘democratic power’ to throw away the present regime.
Referring to the recent sting operation exposing the BJP leadership’s role in the massacre and rape of women, Sonia said the truth about the hatred and beastliness has come out by the ‘Sachchai ka pardafash’.
Lashing out at the BJP’s communal politics, the Congress president said the BJP has divided the society in the land of the successful cooperative movement and white revolution.
Sonia said the BJP did not even hesitate to drag the name of Lord Ram to further their political goals.
She told the rally that it was the BJP-led government which had started the Sethusamudram project but are now using it to arouse the sentiments of the people.
“Why had they not bothered about Lord Ram at that time?” Sonia asked.
BJP leaders change their colours quickly and are experts in misleading the people by spreading falsehoods, she said.
“For the Congress, all faiths are equal,” Sonia asserted. She said the women of Gujarat would have to ponder what kind of people now lead the Gujarat of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel.
She added that a live Gujarat in which women of all classes and creeds can breathe easy can be achieved only by throwing out such a government of hatred and injustice.
Sonia also hinted that the Central grants worth crores of rupees have not been properly utilised by the Gujarat government. Obliquely referring to next month’s Assembly elections, Sonia said it would be a good opportunity to get rid of the unjust government by exercising the democratic right.