Congress' takes on Gujarat poll, Orissa violence, Taslima, HP

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New Delhi, Dec 26 (UNI) The Congress today asked the BJD-BJP government in Orissa to take immediate steps to prevent the recurrence of communal violence similar to the attacks on places of worship on the occasion of Christmas.

Such incidents should have no place in any civil society, whether it was Orissa or any other state, AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Replying to questions, he said the Congress would not like to politicise the incidents by taking it up with the Minorities Commission. The party would rather like to give some time to the State government to take action and restore normalcy.

He described as a ''figment of imagination'' a media report that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked her political secretary Ahmed Patel to account for the Rs 450 crore supposed to have been spent by the party on the Gujarat Assembly poll campaign.

To another question on fixing responsibility for the poll debacle in Gujarat, he said action would be taken against any one found guilty by the state party unit for deliberately working against the party's interest. The report from the state unit was still awaited, he said.

Asked whether Ms Gandhi should own up responsibility, he said people's verdict was accepted by all parties in a democracy and that everyone in the party's heirarchy was sad about the outcome in Gujarat.

Politics was not as simple as adding two and two to come out with four as the solution, he reasoned.

On CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu's statement that Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen was welcome to stay in Kolkata provided the Centre ensured her security, Mr Ahmed said the Union Home Ministry would render assistance if there was a formal request from the West Bengal government.

The spokesman said his party was hoping for the best in Himachal Pradesh, where counting of votes polled in the Assembly elections would be taken up on Friday, but would not agree with a suggestion that it was, at the same time, prepared for the worst.

UNI

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