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Congress slams Modi, Shah for 'communal campaign'

May 05, 2014 12:13 IST

The Congress on Monday hit out at Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah for carrying out a "communal campaign" and demanded action by the Election Commission against Shah for his controversial remark that Azamgarh in UP was a "base of terrorists".

"Modi/Amit Shah have come back to communal campaign from development. They have forgotten involvement of Sanghi activists in Modasa bomb blast," Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

He said, "Modasa is in Gujarat. Azamgarh has been a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity. It didn't have any riots in (19)47 and (19)92 post Babri Masjid demolition. I strongly condemn Amit Shah's statement about Azamgarh. Election Commission must take action."

Attacking Modi, he asked the BJP's prime ministerial candidate to speak out on grants given by the Gujarat government to NGOs run by Aseemanand and Pragya Singh, both accused in bomb blast cases.

"Would Modi tell us grants Gujarat government and he has given to Shabri Ashram of Aseemanand and to Pragya Singh's NGOs, both accused in bomb blast?," he asked.

Aseemanand is an accused in 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case while Pragya Thakur is a key accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case.

Former Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Faruqui condemned the comment of Shah for associating terrorism with a place or community.

"It is highly condemnable to defame a place or community for terrorism. Amit Shah can't keep a control on his tongue. He has already faced EC ire. Elections will be over in next 10-12 days but hatred is being developed in people's heart.

"We condemn statements by any party or person to associate terrorism with a place or community," he said.

Shah, who is BJP's in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, had on Sunday said that Azamgarh is the base of terrorists as there is no fear of the state government, which is advocating their release. He also said that accused in Gujarat bomb blast cases were from Azamgarh.

Shobha Oza, president of All India Women Congress, said, Shah "has been spewing venom through his language. The Election Commission should take a cognisance of it. An immediate strict action should be taken against him.

"He is trying to polarise the whole elections. People like Amit Shah are incorrigible. His whole politics is based on communalism and he keeps spewing venom to divide this country," she said.

Another Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, "It is very wrong to say anything about any place. I don't know what sort of politician he is and (he is) trying to defame Azamgarh.

"Whether it is BJP, Shah or any other leader, it is very wrong to make an opinion about Azamgarh. It is a praiseworthy city. It is unfortunate to consider people of Azamgarh as terrorists," he said.



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