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With eye on Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi slams Bharatiya Janata Party, calls it a 'threat'

Jan 17 2014, 19:34 IST
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SummarySignalling that Congress is ready for the battle ahead in the Lok Sabha elections, party President Sonia Gandhi today attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying its "divisive" ideology is the "biggest threat" while it puts up a "pretence" of moderation.

Signalling that Congress is ready for the battle ahead in the Lok Sabha elections, party President Sonia Gandhi today attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying its "divisive" ideology is the "biggest threat" while it puts up a "pretence" of moderation.

Facing Bharatiya Janata Party's PM candidate Narendra Modi as the main opponent, she said secularism was a matter of deep faith for the Congress and not a matter of political compulsion.

In 20-minute speech, she also touched on the issue of corruption, a major issue stalking the UPA II government, appealing to parties to rise above political considerations to ensure passage of anti-corruption measures pending in Parliament.

"The biggest threat before the country is from communal forces and ideologies. Congress stands for uniting the people...but what is the approach of our main political opponent? I will tell you. You know it yourself.

"It is to divide the society on communal lines and spread hatred in the name of unity to impose a single identity.

They hide their real face behind the mask of moderate pretensions. They criticise our leaders and level false allegations against them and they go to the extent of spreading violence. How can such an ideology be tolerated," Gandhi said addressing the day-long AICC session here without naming Bharatiya Janata Party.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, senior cabinet ministers and party leaders from all over the country heard her in rapt attention as she spoke of the successes of the UPA coalition.

She said the Congress workers should be proud that the party never compromised on its ideology. "For Congress, secularism is not a political compulsion but a matter of deep faith," she said.

Describing secularism as the biggest identity of the country, Sonia Gandhi hit out at the BJP, without taking its name, saying the policy of the main opposition party is of dividing society on communal lines, imposing uniformity in the name of unity.

"The biggest danger to the country's social fabric is from the communal forces and their ideologies. Congress has always worked to unite people and has never compromised with communalism. Secularism means equal faith in all religions (sarva dharma sambhava). It is not an electoral compulsion for us. This is something which we deeply believe in," she said.

Striking a similar note, the omnibus resolution moved by senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and seconded by P Chidambaram for consideration at the AICC meet said, "the recent political setbacks are

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