Sonia hits out at opposition in impressive Hindi

March 31st, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi
By Sharat Pradhan
Kanpur, March 31 (IANS) Speaking in chaste Hindi in this Uttar Pradesh city, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Monday lashed out at the opposition parties, describing them as “Ek hi thali ke chatte batte” (two sides of the same plate) and “Ganga gaye Gangadas, Jamuna gaye Jamunadas” (changing colours like a chameleon). Bracketing the Congress party’s main rivals in Uttar Pradesh - the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - as “casteist and communal”, Gandhi ran them all down in Hindi.

Addressing a well-attended public rally at Kanpur’s historic Phool Bagh grounds, she described the opposition parties as “blatant opportunists” whose sole objective was to ride on to power and make money.

Terming them as “parties with neither ideology nor character”, she felt that such political parties befitted the old Hindi saying - “Ganga gaye Gangadas, Jamuna gaye Jamunadas” (changing colours like a chameleon).

Tens of thousands of Congress supporters turned out for the rally that was held to sound the bugle to gear up for the next elections, scheduled for next year.

Both the Congress president and her MP son Rahul Gandhi had lots to offer to woo the large force of jobless manpower in this city that was once known as the Manchester of the East.

In her bid to entice the industrial workers rendered unemployed due to closure of several textile mills here, Sonia Gandhi said: “Several of the textile mills that blossomed under successive Congress regimes were shut down by different non-Congress governments; but we are now trying to revive some of them.”

She drew loud applause from the audience when she named the widely known Elgin Mills as among those that were on the United Progressive Alliance government’s list for revival.

“There is a long list of government-owned factories that were closed down during the National Democratic Alliance regime in different parts of the country,” she lamented.

Training her guns at the opposition, she appealed to the crowds “not to get misled by their false claims and propaganda”. “Let me sound you that these casteist and communal forces are capable of going to any extent to serve their own vested interests, so better be wary of them.”

She also made it a point to praise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “pro-farmer and pro-poor” policies.

“The Manmohan Singh government has taken several steps for the good of the common man,” she said, while enumerating the relief measures announced in the union budget - a debt waiver of Rs.600 billion for the small and marginal farmers, employment guarantees for the rural poor and food for school children, besides income-tax concessions for certain income groups.

Claiming that the central government had been pumping in lots of funds to help the poor, Gandhi urged the people to demand that the state governments use the funds properly. “We have already given you the powerful Right to Information (RTI) Act to enable you to know whether the funds given by the centre were being used for the purpose for which these were granted,” she asserted.

And clearly urging people to revive her party she went on to say, “Let us all join hands to strengthen the Congress party as that is the only way to get Uttar Pradesh back its lost glory.”

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