PM Modi's 'Politics of Anger' to Blame for Gujarat Unrest, Says Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi:  It's an old Congress attack, but Rahul Gandhi gave it new context today when he blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the violence in Gujarat over the Patel agitation for reservation.

"Whatever is happening in Gujarat is because of the politics of anger practised by Mr Modi," the Congress vice president alleged, adding, "We believe politics of anger helps Mr Modi but it doesn't help the country."

Gujarat is tense after clashes and incidents of arson and damage to property over the brief detention on Tuesday night of 21-year-old Hardik Patel, the face of a massive agitation by the wealthy Patel community in the state for reservation in government jobs and colleges.

Prime Minister Modi had made a televised appeal for calm in Gujarat yesterday saying, "Violence does not benefit anybody," the PM said in an appeal on television yesterday, adding, "We must work together to solve problems through talks".

In the state his party, the BJP's government has rejected the Patel demand for quota as Gujarat has already hit a 50 per cent cap on reservation mandated by the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, at a mega rally in Ahmedabad, Hardik Patel, who is the son of a BJP leader, reminded the state government that the Patels offer crucial support to the party. ""In the next (Gujarat) election in 2017, the lotus (BJP symbol) will not bloom if our needs are not met," he had warned.

The Patels were seen as Congress supporters for many years till they switched sides to the BJP in the 1990s. Their staunch loyalty since has been handsomely rewarded - Chief Minister Anandiben Patel belongs to that community as do a number of her cabinet colleagues.

The Congress has for very long been unable to get back a foothold in Gujarat, where Mr Modi was chief minister for 13 years till he took office as Prime Minister in May last year. The BJP followed up a big win in the Gujarat Assembly elections of 2012 with a clean sweep of the state in the national election last year, winning all 26 seats.
 


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