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26/02/2020 2:46 PM IST | Updated 26/02/2020 5:59 PM IST

Amit Shah Should Resign, Kejriwal Should Be Present In Affected Areas: Sonia Gandhi On Delhi Riots

Sonia Gandhi said it was “rather shocking” that senior leaders of the Centre and Delhi government had not spoke up and come out with “a positive message.”

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Sonia Gandhi

In a rare press conference, Congress’s acting chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said Union home minister Amit Shah must take responsibility for the violence in Delhi and resign.

“There is a well-planned conspiracy behind the continuous traumatic accidents that have been happening since last Sunday,” Gandhi said.

Her press conference was held after an emergency meeting of the Congress Working Committee at the party’s headquarters in the wake of riots that swept large parts of northeast Delhi since Sunday evening.

Both the Congress and especially the AAP, which is in power in Delhi, have been criticised for their inadequate response to the riots, which have left 20 people dead in the national capital.

Live updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Finally Breaks Silence

Sonia Gandhi called the situation in the capital “grave” and said, “Urgent action is needed and adequate forces must be deployed immediately to bring the situation under control.”

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was missing from the both the press conference and the meeting, which had been attended by several senior party leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram, Randeep Singh Surjewala, AK Antony, Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

At the press conference, the interim Congress president said “BJP leaders are creating environment of fear and hatred through their hate speeches.”

“Because of the centre and the state government’s inaction, over 20 people have died,” she said.

Sonia Gandhi said it was “rather shocking” that senior leaders of the Centre and Delhi government had not spoke up and come out with “a positive message.”

Gandhi said the CWC was asking the following questions on behalf of the country —

  1. Where has the Union home minister been since Sunday and what has he been doing?
  2. Where has the Delhi CM been since Sunday and what has he been doing?
  3. Since the Delhi elections, what inputs had been received from the Intelligence agency and what action was taken on them?
  4. Since Sunday, how much of the police force was deployed in riot-hit areas when it was clear the riots would spread?
  5. When the situation was out of control and was not be handled by the Delhi police, why were central paramilitary forces not called?

Among the calls for action CWC put forward, one was that the “Delhi CM must be visible in affected areas and in constant communication with people.”

Other points included:

— Formation of peace committees comprising members of all communities in every mohalla to ensure no untoward incident took place.

— Senior civil servants deployed in each district so that administrative machinery responds to the evolving situation

The CWC appealed to the people of Delhi to “reject the politics of hate” and “heal the rifts caused by these shameful events”.

Gandhi said CWC has called upon all Congress leaders and workers had been asked to visit violence-affected areas, extend all possible support to families who have suffered, and build bridges between communities.