PTI: Strongly backing Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over his handling of ethnic violence in the state, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party accusing it of ‘adding fuel to the fire’.
He also rejected statements drawing a parallel between the ethnic violence in Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts of Assam and the post Godhra riots in Gujarat, alleging that Narendra Mod had given a free hand to administration to allow communal riots.
“Communal riots took place in Gujarat under the nose of the chief minister in cities like Ahmedabad. In Assam it was in rural areas where the administration had difficulty in reaching due to the rains this time,” Singh said.
Rejecting to BJP’s criticism of inaction by Gogoi, Singh, who is the AICC general secretary in-charge for the state, said, “Assam government had taken all the steps that could have been taken under the law.”
He said that this was not the first incident of ethnic violence in Assam but the fourth one of clash between Bodos and Muslims in the state, which has a multi-ethnic society.
Singh said that in any incident of violence, first, the local administration tries to stop it and when it fails to do so, paramilitary forces and military are sent which happened in these cases also.
When pointed out that a team of the BJP has gone to Assam on fact-finding mission, the Congress leader said, “BJP’s fact-finding team goes simply to add fuel to the fire and not to quench it. BJP has been communalising the issue of migration from the very beginning.
“The illegal migrants also include Hindus along with Muslims. BJP only talks about Muslim illegal migrants.”
“Gogoi is an experienced politician and an extremely sensitive person,” Singh said responding to charges that Gogoi was slow in reacting to the initial incidents of violence and this led to escalation.
Terming the ethnic issue as ‘sensitive’, Singh cautioned that a “slight tilt on one or the other side may have repercussions.”