Sunday, April 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sonia flays PM for not removing Modi
Tribune News Service

Congress President Sonia Gandhi takes the salute
Congress President Sonia Gandhi takes the salute at the All-India Congress Seva Dal National Convention in New Delhi on Saturday. — Tribune photo

New Delhi, April 6
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today criticised Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for taking along persons who were “masterminding” the violence in Gujarat on his day-long visit to the state.

She criticised the Centre for not removing Mr Modi, saying that he had “totally failed” to control the communal violence in Gujarat.

Though the Prime Minister visited Gujarat after more than a month of the Godhra carnage, he took along with him persons under whose directions humanity was being butchered in the state, she said inaugurating a day-long meeting of the district presidents of the All-India Seva Dal. Over 500 district presidents attended the meeting.

Accusing the Centre of doing everything with an eye to power, she raised questions over the policies of the BJP-led government.

In a hard-hitting speech, she said the same ideology was responsible for the “pre-planned” violence in Gujarat which was responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his colleagues could not rise to the occasion and take any action against the Chief Minister who is being blamed by the National Human Rights Commission and others for his inept handling of the grave situation, 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 Chief Minister Narendra Modi, even failed to condemn the killings of innocent people in the state,’’ she said.

Referring to the passage of POTA through a joint sitting of Parliament on March 26, she accused the BJP-led government of pursuing double standards on the issue. She said the law would be used more against those who are opposed to them and their ideology.

She lauded the role of the All-India Seva Dal in strengthening the party set-up.

Senior Party leaders Motilal Vora, Shivraj Patil, Mohsina Kidwai, Mahabir Prasad, Seva Dal leaders Janardan Dwivedi and Prahlad Yadav were among those present.Back


BJP rules out Modi’s removal ‘as of now’

New Delhi, April 6
Notwithstanding the sharp comments of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who had bluntly told Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to follow “Raj Dharam” making no discrimination on the basis of religion, the BJP today came to Mr Modi’s defence and ruled out his removal “as of now”.

Even though party spokesman Sunil Shastri supported the stand taken by Mr Vajpayee, he said even the Prime Minister had not said there would be any change of leadership in the state.

Meanwhile, the Maha Gujarat Manch today appealed to the Prime Minister to put on hold his foreign tour in view of the conflagration in Gujarat and ensure early restoration of normalcy in the state. PTI, UNIBack

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