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Not powerless to deal with minority attacks, says Congress

September 19, 2008 19:46 IST

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In the wake of attacks on churches in Karnataka and Orissa, Congress on Friday warned the opposition ruled states that they should not commit the "grave mistake" that the Centre is "powerless to deal with such rogue activities".

"Those who provoke must be prepared to face the consequences...They will be responsible for the consequences if they keep provoking," said party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi.

Issuing the warning, Singhvi said, "the Opposition ruled states should not think that the Centre is powerless to deal with such rogue activities."

Using the phraseology of Atal Behari Vajpayee who had asked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] to follow "raj dharma" in the wake of Godhra riots, Singhvi advised these states to follow the same course to deal with the situation.

Asked if the Centre will use Article 355 or 356 to deal with the situation in Karnataka and Orissa, Singhvi said it was not a question of invoking these Articles.

"The states should not think that the central government is powerless. The Constitution gives ample powers if provocation and justification for using such powers arise," Singhvi said.

Congress sources said the Centre has issued several "strong" letters to both Karnataka and Orissa in the last few days to take stern action and stop the violence against the Christian community and institutions.

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