Since the rape of a 14-month-old girl on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer from Bihar for the crime, most districts in north Gujarat, have witnessed sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people
The Congress termed the situation in Gujarat as "grave and very sensitive" after the exodus of Hindi-speaking migrants following attacks on them, and asked Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow "raj dharma" and bring the situation back to normal. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to apologise to the people of his state for showing insensitivity towards them by giving a "clean chit" and character certificate to the Rupani-led state government.
Since the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime, six districts, most of them in north Gujarat, have witnessed sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people.
Shyam Singh Thakur, president of the Uttar Bhartiya Vikas Parishad, an outfit of north Indians in Gujarat, said more than 60,000 Hindi-speaking migrant labourers have fled the state so far. He claimed that people who had decided earlier to leave the state continue to board buses and trains.
Hindi-speaking factory workers continued to flee the state by taking trains and buses, which were running jam-packed, according to available accounts.
Asked about the alleged involvement of party leader Alpesh Thakor's Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena in the attacks, the Congress spokesperson said no such thing has come to the party's notice. "However, if any such incident comes before us, the party will act accordingly," he added.
The Congress leader expressed concern over the spread of violence in central Gujarat and said if went unchecked, it could spread across the country and have "extremely serious repercussions" on the country's social fabric.
"The situation in Gujarat is very sensitive and unfortunate and the state and central governments are completely responsible for it. It is the responsibility of the state and central governments to bring the situation to normalcy, as if this fire spreads across the country, it will have very serious and far-reaching repercussions," he said.
"This is not the time for indulging in petty politics and the state and central governments should follow 'Raj Dharma' as propagated by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to then chief minister Narendra Modi. We urge and demand that 'Raj Dharma' should be followed on this issue and petty politics should not be played," he told reporters.
He said it is "unfortunate" that the Gujarat government is "completely and absolutely incapable and perhaps unwilling to stop these incidents".
"If this contagion is not checked, this can have extremely serious repercussions with regard to the social fabric of this country," he said.
The Congress leader said, "I want to warn the prime minister that the politics of polarisation will have disastrous consequences."
Tewari hit out at the prime minister, asking whether this was the Gujarat model that he talked about and sought votes to become the prime minister in 2014.
He alleged that "ridiculousness and preposterousness" have touched a new high, where apparently to please the Prime Minister, the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are in an overdrive to give a clean chit to the Gujarat government, rather than empathising with the plight of their people and trying to prevail upon the central and Gujarat governments to act.
"The silence of the Prime Minister who otherwise speaks 20 out of 24 hours, is deafening. We would like to ask the Prime Minister, he talked about the Gujarat Model of Development when he sought votes across the country, is this the Gujarat Model of Development?"Is this the model which he would like to perpetuate in this country? where you divide people in the name of region, religion, caste and try and keep this country on a permanent edge because you think it will get you electoral dividends?" he asked.