Sonia cautions on terrorism

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 23 May 2002 22:53 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has cautioned the central government to beware of unprincipled elements, while tackling the issue of cross-border terrorism.

Addressing an election rally here for the Assembly polls scheduled on 30 May, Gandhi reiterated her wholehearted support to the government efforts to deal with terrorism, but with a caution.

"We must be aware of principled and unprincipled elements who may just try to take advantage of the situation and perhaps bring more divide in our society", said Gandhi

We have to be extremely cautious and beware of such elements, she said, without referring to anybody in particular. She also saluted the soldiers fighting at the borders, stating that the whole nation is proud of them.

Gandhi's main focus of the speech however was on the Gujarat carnage. "All other issues are secondary, the only important issue today is secularism", she said amidst applause.

Stating that Goa's great heritage of communal harmony is at stake, the Congress president appealed to the people not to allow it to be destroyed by bringing communal BJP to power, but to rally behind the secular Congress to save the nation.

Referring indirectly to the speech against Muslims made by prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Goa last month, she denounced double speak attitude of the BJP leaders. "They said one thing in Goa about a particular community and a different thing in Delhi".

Stating that Goa's elections are the most crucial one for the Congress, Gandhi pounced upon the BJP for tarnishing image of the land of Mahatma Gandhi by assaulting basic human values and developing hatred among communities.

"You better stop giving us lectures on morality. We know where you stand", warned the Congress president, while referring to the manner in which the BJP in Goa toppled the elected Congress government and imposed early elections for petty gains.


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