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Sonia criticises Modi Govt in Gujarat

Sonia Gandhi also says the BJP was dividing society on the basis of caste and creed.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 23:29 IST

Setting the ball rolling for her party ahead of elections to the Gujarat assembly this year, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday criticised the Narendra Modi government's handling of law and order and said the BJP was dividing society on the basis of caste and creed.

"Gujarat has always been a region full of peace and prosperity. I won't comment on what happened in the state a few years back. But now the crime rate has increased considerably, especially against women," Gandhi told the Adivasi Mahasammelan— a huge congregation of tribals— in Devgarh Baria town.

The law and order situation has come to such a stage that anything can happen any time, she said.

Gandhi, on a day's visit to the predominantly tribal district of Dahod, criticised the state government for failing to address an increase in attacks on weaker sections, including Dalits, tribals and women.

"Communal elements can never become a national force," she said without naming any political rivals or parties.

While Congress has been working to uplift society, the BJP has been dividing it on the basis of caste and creed, she said.

Gandhi appealed to the people in the region to contemplate on a range of nagging issues before turning out to vote for the assembly polls.

"The Congress has made sacrifices before and after independence. But we cannot expect similar sacrifices from the communal forces," Gandhi said, indicating that communal elements were just hungry for power.

First Published: Jan 20, 2007 21:57 IST