The Congress on Friday claimed that the attacks on migrants in Gujarat are a conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party to hide its failure both at the Centre and in the state. The Congress demanded that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani be sacked, IANS reported.

Violence has been reported from six districts in the northern part of the state after a native of Bihar was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-month-old girl of the Thakor community in Sabarkantha district on September 28.

“On the back foot for its continued failures in containing skyrocketing petrol-diesel prices, a historically devalued rupee, rampant joblessness and a sinking economy, BJP and its government in the state are acting in tandem to target poor people,” Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil claimed. “Cornered on its massive failures, fascist BJP is resorting to its tried and tested formula of divide and rule.”

The Congress claimed that Gujarat BJP leaders, under the guidance of the party’s National President Amit Shah and Rupani, actively instigated and provoked violence against migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Gohil said that Rupani’s claim that the state will enact legislation to ensure industries provide 80% of jobs to Gujaratis showed that he was “fanning the sentiment of xenophobia and inciting hatred”.

Gohil also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take responsibility for BJP’s actions and apologise to the country. He also demanded that President’s Rule be imposed in the state, The New Indian Express reported.

The BJP has blamed Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor for instigating the violence against Hindi-speaking people in Gujarat. Over 60,000 migrant workers have fled the state so far. However, Thakor has denied being responsible for the violence.

Gohil backed Thakor on Friday. He said that while Thakor may have attacked migrants in his earlier speeches, he was now doing everything to ensure they stayed in Gujarat.