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Gujarat govt responsible for riots; No central rule: Cong

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) The Congress today squarely blamed the Gujarat government for the riots in Vadodara in the wake of the demolition of a centuries' old dargah in the walled city, but ruled out imposition of President's rule as it was no longer an easy option.

The state government and the local administration in Vadodara should have taken the people into confidence to find a solution before bringing down the dargah, AICC spokesman Rajiv Shukla told reporters.

The Narendra Modi government should take all steps to bring the situation under control, which was the need of the hour, he said.

The Centre had rushed paramilitary forces to help the local administration maintain law and order, he said.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was in constant touch with the state party chief, while the Home Ministry was keeping a close watch on the situation in Vadodara, Mr Shukla said.

Stating that the Congress was seriously concerned about the developments, he said a party delegation led by AICC Secretary Manish Tiwari, in charge of party affairs in Gujarat, was already visiting Vadodara to assess the situation.

Replying to a query, he clarified that resorting to Article 356 of the Constitution to dismiss the state government had become difficult in the light of the Sarkaria Commission recommendations on Centre-State relations.

Further, the Congress and the UPA government was in favour of the present federal structure under which law and order was vested with the states.

The details of a Bill, which was under preparation to deal with communal violence effectively, would be known only it was presented in Parliament, he said in reply to a question.

The Congress would, however, like to have ''some mechanism'' to check such violence promptly without infringing upon the rights of the states, he said.

He paried a question by a reporter who sought to equate the present riots with the post-Godhra violence in 2002, stating that this was a ''new situation.'' UNI SH/SN MSJ HS1737

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