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    [2001 onwards]


'It is not fair to win over dead bodies'

Ahmedabad, December 15, 2002: Gujarat Congress chief Shankersinh Vaghela logged on after his party lost the 2002 assembly election to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : Hello, I am ready for your questions.

Anand : What next? Are we heading for a rule by despots? Is this the way our country was envisaged by the freedom fighters? Will the Congress ever get back on the rails in Gujarat?
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : Gujarat is going under the hand of dictatorship, it is under the hand of Hindutva. Congress will work for working class; there is no power, water, we will go to the people and have agitations against the government for all such problems.

Nomad : Mr Vaghela, good afternoon. Was this a defeat you were expecting? What do you think went against you?
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : I was not expecting such defeat. It is my moral responsibility. Basically Gujaratis are right wing ideologists; therefore the Goebbel's propaganda that if Congress wins crackers will be burst in Pakistan and we will teach a lesson to Mian Musharaff is all Goebbel's propaganda; and the extreme Hinduism helped BJP; nothing else.

Indian : Mr Vaghela good morning, how do you take this election? Don't you think you are a natural ally of the BJP but on the wrong side?
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : I take this election sportingly; BJP government is there now, they will realise that Hindu extremism does not work everyday and will have to give reply to aspects of electricity, water, development; and all this will affect adversely and bring forth the failure of the government.

Jeevan : Vaghelaji: Do you agree with the fact that Congress should not have adopted the soft-Hindutva line?
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : It was not a soft Hindutva line from the Congress party. Hindutva is Hindutva, not soft or hard. BJP used Hindu religion as their instrument and dead bodies of Godhra were their election planks. Even Kargil was not an Operation Vijay but the BJP won over the victory of the martyrs and here they won over the bodies of Hindu and Muslims. It is not fair to win over dead bodies.

Rajiv : Do you think the vicious campaign in the English media against the violence in Gujarat, made the Gujratis go on the defensive, and this made them back the BJP with a vengeance?
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : All the media played a major role in highlighting Godhra -- English, Gujarati, print, TV; for eight months the media did not allow the people to forget Godhra and this played a major role in helping the BJP.

Guy007 : Vaghela I don't feel anything wrong in Hindutva as I have seen the Congress pampering MUSLIMS and Scheduled Caste who have been a 100% burden on the nation....I can support my statement.. What is your next move?
Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : In governance and politics, there should be no religion, only humanity. Congress does not back religion, but the poorer and weaker sections. No matter what people say, this is our policy. Also, Hindutva is a double-edged sword that can cut both ways.

Shri Shankersinh Vaghela : Many thanks for your questions. But I have to leave.

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