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BJP stoking communal passion in Gujarat
|Gujarat BJP continues to stir its hate cauldron. The Election Commission may have postponed elections in the riot-torn state, but religious sentiments are in full play in the BJP's run-up to polls. From exhibiting photographs and models of kar sevaks in the burning coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express to provocative campaigning it has all the ingredients for raising communal frenzy.
Banners showing the burning Sabarmati Express at Godhra have appeared in Ahmedabad with questions such as "Amaru kaun?" (who is ours?) on them. This follows an advertisement compaign by the Gujarat Gaurav Samiti which asked the same question after pointing out that there were many institutions to look after the minorities, but none for Hindus. It also implied that the majority community was being neglected.
The banner, which has the slogan "Amaru kaun" carries the BJP's election symbol, the lotus, as well as the party's name. The colourful poster shows the S-6 compartment of Sabarmati Express in flames, along with a map of Gujarat with images of riots. There are plans to send them to other towns and cities of Gujarat.
The banners are similar to the advertising campaign last week in local newspapers. The campaign had lashed out at opposition parties, their leaders and organisations like the Election Commission and the National Human Rights Commission for allegedly siding with the minorities. However, unlike an earlier campaign which was unleashed by the mysterious Gujarat Gaurav Samiti, the banners clearly had the BJP's name and election symbol printed on them.
Congress leaders claim the VHP has put up billboards to stoke Hindu fundamentalism ahead of assembly elections in the state to help the BJP win. Former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, who heads the Congress party in Gujarat, has decided to act against the boards, saying such rubbish is a blatant show of communalism. They add insult to injury after the bloodbath, he added.
¯ Abdul Hafiz Lakhani