In a statement that has raised eyebrows, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said anti-social elements indulged in violence in Gujarat as the Congress supported them, but after the perpetrators were “taught a lesson” in 2002, the BJP established “permanent peace” in the state.
Gujarat witnessed large-scale communal violence in 2002 following the train burning incident at Godhra railway station in February that year. Shah was in Mahudha in Kheda district on Friday, campaigning for the Assembly elections. He said, “During the Congress rule in Gujarat, communal riots were rampant. The 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.”
He said Gujarat witnessed riots in 2002 because “perpetrators became habitual of indulging in violence due to the prolonged support they received from the Congress”. “But they were taught a lesson in 2002. And 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,” he 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.