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Recent Maharashtra, UP riots were staged: Sonia Gandhi
Tuesday August 12, 2014 5:23 PM, IANS

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday attacked the Narendra Modi government, saying the communal violence that broke out recently in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra was "created deliberately to divide our society".

Sonia Gandhi

"Nothing less than 600 incidents of communal violence in UP and perhaps as many in Maharashtra... These indeed are created deliberately to divide our society along religious lines, so we should do our bit to create a pluralistic society," said Gandhi, while addressing party leaders at the state Congress headquarters here.

She also criticised the Modi government for its attitude towards the happenings at Gaza.

"In the Lok Sabha, we were unable to initiate a discussion, but in the Rajya Sabha we were able to take up the issue for discussion. We have always expressed our solidarity with the Palestinians. At the moment, the guns there have fallen silent," said Gandhi.

The Congress chief also urged the party workers to strengthen the party at the grassroots level and appreciated the good performance put up by the Kerala unit in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

"Our immediate task is to strengthen the party at the grassroots. The core mission of our party is to protect the common man. The party has stood for seven decades to protect the weaker section of the society," Sonia Gandhi said.

Complimenting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state party president V.M. Sudheeran for the good show in the Lok Sabha polls, she said this combined effort should be carried forward to the local bodies' election next year and the assembly polls to be held two years hence.

Chandy said: "Failure is not new to us and there are voices here and there which are blaming the leadership for the election debacle, but each and every worker of our party is responsible for this. We assure you (Sonia Gandhi) that we will rise like the proverbial phoenix bird."

"You (Chandy and Sudheeran) have done well in the polls to constitute 21,458 booth committee's last Sunday, when over three lakh party workers were elected as committee members. This is an exemplary effort in promoting democracy and Kerala has again set an example," said Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi arrived in the city around noon. She will return to Delhi after inaugurating the 16th anniversary celebrations of the state-run women's empowerment programme 'Kudumbashree'.

She also asked the party workers to help organise programmes to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The only notable absentee in the meeting was former defence minister A.K. Antony.

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