Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said anti-social elements earlier indulged in violence in Gujarat as the Congress supported them, but after the perpetrators were "taught a lesson" in 2002, they stopped such activities and the Bharatiya Janata Party established "permanent peace" in the state.
Parts of Gujarat had witnessed large-scale violence in 2002 following the train burning incident at Godhra railway station in February that year.
Addressing a rally in Mahudha town of Kheda district in support of BJP candidates ahead of the next month's assembly elections, Shah alleged, "During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, the Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society."
Shah claimed that Gujarat witnessed riots in 2002 because perpetrators became habitual of indulging in violence due to the prolonged support they received from the Congress.
"But after they were taught a lesson in 2002, these elements left that path (of violence). They refrained from indulging in violence from 2002 till 2022. The BJP has established permanent peace in Gujarat by taking strict action against those who used to indulge in communal violence," the Union minister said.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for abrogating Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Shah alleged that the Congress was against it because of its "vote bank".