NDA Govt supporting corrupt ministers: Sonia

  • Sandipan Sharma, PTI, Bikaner
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  • Updated: Nov 20, 2003 20:16 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday attacked the NDA government for supporting corrupt ministers who had been completely exposed in public.

Launching the party's election campaign for the Vidhan Sabha elections in Rajasthan, Sonia said instead of taking action against corrupt people, the union government has been assigning them bigger responsibilities.

In her ten-minute speech laced with aggression and sarcasm, the Congress president alleged that it had become difficult to count the number of scams that had surfaced during the NDA rule. "There is corruption in every department. Even in important sectors like defence, they are taking bribes from private companies," Sonia said in an obvious reference to the Tehelka episode.

Sonia was equally acerbic on the Dilip Singh Judeo incident. "But for the fact that this is election time and Judeo was the BJP's chief ministerial candidate for Chhattisgarh, the NDA government would have given him a promotion," she said.

While lashing out against the NDA government on the Judeo incident, Sonia also replied to Prime Minister AB Vjapayee's charge that the Congress was adopting double standards on corruption.

"If there had been similar proof against a common man, he would have been tried and sent to jail. There can't be different rules for those in power and the common man," she said.

On Tuesday, addressing a BJP rally at the same venue, Vajpayee had alleged that the while the Congress was quick to demand Judeo's resignation, it had been protecting Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, who had been chargesheeted in a forgery case. Sonia appeared eager to challenge every statement made by Vajpayee in front of a similar crowd here. Talking about Vajpayee's claim of generating a crore jobs, Sonia roared: "Where are those persons who have been given these jobs?"

"They have been claiming credit for development. But during the four years of drought in Rajasthan the Centre treated the people and government of Rajasthan like beggars. It was their moral responsibility to help the people during the crisis. But they did not offer any help," she said.

Sonia also touched a few local issues. Talking about the loss of life and property in the border areas because of deployment of army and landmines, Sonia said the Centre had still not given full compensation to the affected people.

She praised the Ashok Gehlot government for the all round development in the state. "Truth is, the BJP can't match our policies and development. They want your vote for grabbing power. We want it for serving the people," she said.

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