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'Gujarat law-and-order in a mess'

Cong president Sonia attacks the BJP's policies in the Gujarat, saying state's crime rates have risen considerably.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 19:02 IST

Launching a scathing attack on the "deteriorating" law-and-order situation in Gujarat, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday criticised the divisive policies of the BJP government.

"Gujarat has always been a region full of peace and prosperity. I won't comment on what happened in the state last few years back. But now the crime rates have increased considerably, specially against women," Sonia said.

Law-and-order situation has come to such a stage that anything can happen any time, she said while addressing a huge congregation of tribals at the 'Adivasi Mahasammelan' organised at Devgarh Baria town in Dahod.

"Communal elements can never become a national force," Sonia said without naming any one.

"Congress has sacrificed before and after independence. But we cannot expect similar sacrifices from these communal forces," she said, indicating that communal elements were just power hungry.

"The person who killed Mahatma Gandhi belongs to the same (communal) ideology," she said.

"It is surprising that communal forces have started using the name of Mahatma Gandhi for their political benefits. Their real intentions can be known only by (Lord) Ram.

"They call themselves nationalists but are actually kursiwadi (those attached to power). Such elements cannot benefit either the nation or the adivasis."

"Development of this country is due to steps taken by Rajiv Gandhi when he was the prime minister."

Sonia also appealed to the people to think these issues before casting their votes during the assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela criticised Modi in connection with the demand made by him on Friday, asking the Centre to waive the interest on the loans taken by state government for completion of the Narmada project.

Vaghela said, "Centre has not given any loan, but a grant of Rs 4,000 crore for the Sardar Sarovar Project. How can Centre waive the interest when it has not given any loan?" Vaghela asked.

First Published: Jan 20, 2007 18:59 IST