Ahmedabad, Oct 16 (UNI) Reacting sharply to reports about the Congress' decision to welcome BJP dissident leaders, who were ministers in the Narendra Modi government during the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat, into its fold, eminent social activists from Gujarat and Maharashtra have flayed the move as a ''cynical Eid gift to the Muslims of the country.'' In an open letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, social activists including Bollywood personality Rahul Bose, Teesta Setalvad, Vijay Tendulkar, Prasad Chacko, Fr Cedric Prakash, Alyque Padamsee, Hanif Lakdawala, Sheba George, Javed Anand, Persis Ginwalla, Avinash Kumar, Rakesh Sharma, Jimmy C Dabhi, Anand Patwardhan, Harsh Mander, Ajay Bhatt, Avani Parekh-Bhatt, Akhil Paul, Ashok Gupta, Jitesh Odedra, Wilfred D'Costa, have termed the Congress' move as a ''cynical Eid gift for India's largest minority from the Congress''.
''Ma'am, the repeated efforts of some senior Congressmen to exact a win in Gujarat by not standing for any ideology of the erstwhile Congress but to resort to cheap short term gains by admitting even those men who served Chief Minister Narendra Modi well in 2002 in leading the communal carnage against the state's Muslims. (Senior Congress leaders have reportedly stated that since hard core Shiv Sainiks have been welcomed with open arms in Maharashtra, why cannot the Congress not open its arms to mass murderers like Gordhan Zadaphiya?),'' the letter said.