Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday lashed out at the Centre and Union Home Minister Amit Shah holding them responsible for the unprecedented violence in Northeast Delhi that has continued since Saturday.

Alleging the violence as a “planned incident”, Sonia Gandhi claimed that there is a “conspiracy behind the violence which the country witnessed during the Delhi elections as well”.

“Many BJP leaders made inciting statements creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred,” she said at a press briefing.

“A police offer has been killed and journalists have been attacked too. All of northeast Delhi is tense. Congress believes that the entire incident is because of the inefficiency of the Home Minister,” she added and demanded that Amit Shah should submit his resignation immediately.

“Congress demands that the Home Minister gives his resignation immediately. What was the Home Minister doing since last week? Why were the paramilitary forces not called in earlier when the Home Ministry saw the situation worsening?” the Congress president questioned.

Sonia Gandhi also targeted the Delhi Police for remaining mute spectators as rioters roamed the streets of Northeast Delhi attacking people and destroying public properties.

She said the Delhi Police has remained paralysed in the last 72 hours.

“Immediate and effective measures are needed to control the situation. Security must be deployed adequately so as to ensure that such shameful incidents do not continue. Civil servants must be deployed across all sensitive areas to ensure calm,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader also held the Delhi government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal equally responsible for not activating the administration to reach out to the people to maintain peace and harmony.

“It is the collective failure of both governments that have resulted in a great tragedy in the capital city,” she added.

“The Chief Minister and Delhi must himself be visible in all troubled areas to ensure work is being done on the ground. Both leaders of the Central government and the state government are expected to make official statements. Some comments are seen on social media, but nothing has been said officially,” Gandhi said.

Ahead of the press briefing, Sonia Gandhi had chaired the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet, which was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior leaders AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia among others. However, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was not present as he is currently abroad.

The CWC demanded immediate resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah for “colossal failure” to restore normalcy.

The death toll in the violence in Northeast Delhi violence that began on Monday has risen to 21. Among the dead are a head constable, an Intelligence Bureau officer and an assortment of civilians ranging from an autorickshaw driver to small businessmen. More than 250 people have been injured in the clashes.

Meanwhile, the Congress has deferred its march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to raise the issue of Delhi violence for Thursday.

Congress’ Randeep Surjewala said that party was to hold a march and give a memorandum to President today. But the rally has been deferred as President Ram Nath Kovind has communicated that he is unavailable for the day.