Keeping up her attack on the Narendra Modi government over the "rise" in communal violence, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said such incidents reminded her of her late husband, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had organised 'sadbhawna yatras' to deal with such issues. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also joined Sonia in expressing concern over "the rise in communal incidents in recent months", saying it points to the need for greater effort to build bonds of trust and friendship between communities.
"Rajivji had begun sadbhawna yatras a few days before his martyrdom. I remember as communal incidents are taking place in many parts of the country today, similar communal and caste incidents were happening then," she said while presenting the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhawna Award to noted filmmaker Muzaffar Ali. While Sonia said that all the great things in the world have happened because of the spirit of harmony with ill-will being the cause behind the bad, Singh averred that India's diversity can be a source of great strength but we should not let it be "exploited" by creating divisions in the name of religion and caste.
Sonia had a week back attacked the NDA government over incidents of communal violence in the country ever since it came to power. "There has been an increase in communal violence in the country in the 11 weeks of the BJP-led government at the Centre... These were deliberately created to divide the people," she had told a special convention organised by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee. The Centre had rejected those allegations, saying they are not supported by evidence. In a speech at the BJP's National Council meet on August 9, Modi had blamed the "vote-bank politics" of Congress and the ruling Samajwadi Party in UP for riots in the state.