During his campaign in Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress vice-president refers to the January 29, 2014 murder of Nido Taniya in New Delhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that the BJP’s “divisive” policy was responsible for spoiling the country’s secular fabric and incidents of hate crime, while stressing that the Congress’ ideology was to unite the people irrespective of caste and creed.

“The opposition wants to divide the people on political and religious lines, but we want to surge ahead for peace, progress and prosperity of people irrespective of their religion,” he said starting his party’s poll campaign for the April 9, 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State.

Days after he attacked the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots issue, Mr. Gandhi said that the religion-based ideology of the saffron party “has spoilt the secular nature of the country resulting in the racial discrimination of the people from the Northeast by the people of mainland India” and referred to the January 29 murder of Arunachal student Nido Taniya in New Delhi.

“Arunachal Pradesh being a part of India, its people should enjoy equal privileges in every state of the country. Racial discrimination should be rooted out completely and Congress is committed to this,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said that people of Arunachal and other Northeastern States should not feel neglected in other states of the country.

“India is for everybody and we get strength from each State of the country. Every State is like flowers, which together make up a bouquet,” he said.

He said to the thundering applause of about 5,000 people gathered at the Subansiti Stadium in Hapoli that the Congress was committed to development of Arunachal Pradesh and wanted to preserve the rich social, traditional and cultural heritage of the peace-loving people in its unique form.

Stressing the age-old relationship between Arunachal Pradesh and the Gandhi-Nehru family, Mr. Gandhi said that in 1972 Indira Gandhi had ensured the Union territory status to the state and in 1987 Rajiv Gandhi gave statehood to Arunachal.

“The Rs. 10,000-crore road package provided by the UPA government to Arunachal during 2008 has immensely benefited the state as in the past few years the State witnessed vast development in infrastructure and road development,” he said.

He hoped that the upcoming airport project and setting up of railway lines in the State would improve connectivity of the land-locked State with other parts of the country.

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