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Sonia disapproves 'bigoted provincialism'
March 11, 2008 14:40 IST
With the remarks of the Thackerays against North Indians and stray attacks on them in Mumbai raising a huge controversy, Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] disapproved "bigoted provincialism", maintaining that internal migration only strengthens national integration.
"In recent weeks, there have been violent manifestations of bigoted provincialism, deliberately engineered for narrow political gains," she said addressing the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
It was the first such meet after the recent incidents in the megapolis in Maharashtra, which found its echo in Parliament with members condemning Mahrashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's remarks against North Indians in general and migrants from UP and Bihar in particular.
With the state governed by a party-led coalition, she said that it was the "fundamental responsibility" of those in authority to ensure safety and security of everyone.
"We live and work in a democracy that is governed by a great Constitution and the rule of law," she added.
Asserting that everyone has the freedom to move within and work anywhere in the country, Sonia she said migrants have enriched the states in which they live with their hardwork and sacrifices.
"Internal migration only strengthens the bonds of national integration. These bonds must not be allowed to weaken," she said adding, there are political parties and political leaders who thrive on spreading hatred and prejudice.
Sonia said that this prejudice translates into violence not just against migrant labour, but also against minorities in states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party and some of its National Democratci Alliance allies like the Biju Janata Dal.
"These forces have to be countered forcefully and this is where our party must take the lead," she said.