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Congress behind Gujarat violence says Vijay Rupani in Lucknow

Rupani said the violence was a part of a “pre-planned conspiracy,” keeping in view the “upcoming (assembly) polls in four states (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram) and the unveiling of the Statue of Unity.”

Statesman News Service | Lucknow |

Under fire for the recent incidents of violence against non-Gujarati migrant workers in his state, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday alleged that the acts of violence against the migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were triggered off by the Congress.

Rupani said the violence was a part of a “pre-planned conspiracy,” keeping in view the “upcoming (assembly) polls in four states (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram) and the unveiling of the Statue of Unity.”

The Gujarat Chief Minister said a Congress MLA (read Alpesh Thakor) played a vital role in fomenting and inciting trouble. The situation was now under control, he added.

Rupani, who arrived on a two-day visit to Lucknow on Sunday, addressed a joint press conference with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan on Monday. Without naming Alpesh Thakor, he said the Congress MLA had incited the people against the migrants which led to their exodus from Gujarat. Rupani also ridiculed the fact that Thakor has been made the AICC general secretary in-charge of Bihar.

Taking a swipe at Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his tweet in the aftermath of Gujarat violence, Rupani said, in response to Gandhi’s one tweet he replied with three tweets but the Congress President did not reply to any one of them.

Government’s crackdown on the troublemakers and their arrests revealed that many of them were Congress workers, claimed Rupani.

Elections to four states have been scheduled and the Statue of Unity of Sardar Vallabhai Patel at Sardar Sarovar in Gujarat will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31. The trouble was fomented with an eye on both these events, Rupani alleged, adding necessary action would be taken against the Congress MLA.

In response to a query related to the protests by the Congress workers against his  visit to the state capital and the black flags shown to him by them, the Gujarat Chief Minister said it was a classic case of “ulta chor kotwal ko dandit karne ko nikle” (when the thief penalizes the police). Stating that strict measures have been taken by the government to foil the violence, Rupani said over 700 people have been arrested, including more than 50 from the Congress. Besides, a crackdown has also been enforced on those spreading rumours on the social media and among those arrested on this count about 60 to 70 people are from the Congress, the Gujarat Chief Minister said.

This was Rupani’s first visit to Uttar Pradesh subsequent to the Gujarat violence. Following the flight of migrant workers after they were targeted in the aftermath of violence in the wake of the rape of a 14-month-old girl by a labourer from Bihar, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in a telephonic conversation with Rupani,  had expressed concern over the acts of violence against migrant workers, especially from UP.

Rupani’s visit is being viewed as a measure to apply the healing touch to the aggrieved in what was ostensibly a damage control mission, although officially he was in Lucknow to extend the invite for the Statue of Unity’s inauguration. He said migrant labourers, be they from the north or south India, had contributed much to the development of Gujarat.

“True to the tradition of Gujarat, the Gujaratis and non-Gujaratis are living together and there has been no incident of violence recently, there has been no casualty, not even a fracture,” Rupani stated.

Referring to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s request to his Gujarat counterpart for giving land to build UP Bhavan at Sardar Sarovar (the site of Statue of Unity) , Rupani said his government will allot the land.

In response to Rupani’s invitation for visiting the Statue of Unity, Adityanath said a delegation from his state will visit Sardar Sarovar in the first week of November. Describing Sardar Patel as a symbol of national unity, Adityanath said Sardar Patel was the architect of modern India.