Congress does not rule out President's rule in Orissa

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New Delhi, Sep 03 (UNI) Alleging that the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are trying to replicate Gujarat in Orissa, the Congress today did not rule out the possibility of imposition of President's rule in Orissa "if the need arises".

"We are watching the situation. If the need arises, we will cross the bridge," AICC Spokesman Manish Tewari told mediapersons.

Describing the situation in Orissa, where Christians and minorities were attacked in the wake of the killing of VHP state Vice-President Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati, as 'tense and sensitive,' he said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should act decisively if it was against its allies like the BJP.

He said Home Minister Shivraj Patil today visited Orissa to instil confidence in the minds of the minorities and impress upon the state that it had a higher constitutional authority.

While emphasising that law and order was a state subject, Mr Tewari said the state government had provided all assistance, including para military forces, to deal with the worsening situation.

Referring to the reports about VHP leader Pravin Togadia taking out a march in Orissa, ostensibly with the ashes of Swami Lakshmananda, he asked the state government not to allow anybody to politicise the issue.

Mr Tewari said such a march would further polarise the situation.

On the killing of Swami Lakshmananda, he said the crime was allegedly committed by the Maoists. "If anybody has to be held responsible for not providing security to him, it is the Government of Orissa, of which the BJP was an integral part." "They are in power in Orissa for nine long years. And now they are trying to polarise the situation." UNI SH SY HS1822

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