Sonia launches poll campaign in Gujarat, attacks BJP

December 1st, 2007 - 10:23 pm ICT by admin  

Ahmedabad, Dec 1 (ANI): Congress party president Sonia Gandhi today attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on various issues, particularly for its alleged failure to tackle terrorism, while launching her poll campaign in the poll bound Gujarat.
“It is under BJP in whose rule at the Centre (BJP-led NDA Government) the terrorists attacked the Raghunath Temple and Parliament,” Sonia said in her address at a rally.
She reminded how the then foreign minister of the BJP government escorted terrorists held in Indian jails to Afghanistan in lieu of the passengers of the IC 814 flight, which was hijacked.
Describing the BJP Government in the state as “merchants of fear and death,” she said: “The crime against women are increasing and anti-social elements feel secure as they are getting state protection. Today the rulers of Gujarat are merchants of fear and death.”
Sonia slammed the BJP’s much hyped Sujalam Suflam Project, saying that its work was allotted to a selected few, kicking off a controversy over the whole thing.
On the BJP’s promise to give rights to tribals in forestland, she said the saffron party’s concern for them was superficial.
“If BJP was much worried about their welfare, then what had held it back to bring forth the bill for the Scheduled Tribes when the NDA Government was at the helm of affairs at the Centre,” she said, adding it is the Congress, which has brought the bill in Parliament for the welfare of tribals.
If the Congress is voted to power, it will work to benefit the weaker and poorer sections of the society, particularly the farmers and Dalits, she said.
She addressed election meetings in Valsad, Navsari and Rajkot.
Addressing a public meeting at village Jamanpada in Chikli (ST reserved) Assembly constituency, Sonia said that the people in Gujarat were “impatient for a change.”
“A sensitive government is needed in Gujarat that can take care of all sections of people, including adivasis (tribals),” she emphasised.
She went on to say that the slogan of the Congress Party “Jodo Gujarat” (join Gujarat) was an attempt to indicate the communal divisions within the State in an apparent bid to create an anti-incumbency wave.
Over 36 million voters will elect the 182-member Assembly in Gujarat in a two-phased election, as the term of the State’s Legislative Assembly is due to expire on December 26.
The first phase of elections in Gujarat will be held on December 11 and second phase on December 16. The counting of votes will take place on December 23
The BJP managed to win 127 seats, while the Congress party was able to win only 51 seats in the 2002 Gujarat Assembly polls. The Janata Dal (United) and independents won two seats each. (ANI)

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