Facing nationwide flak from different quarters over the issue of corruption, UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday hit back at the BJP and stated that the saffron party's fight against corruption was a mere show off.
"These people (BJP) were making huge noise over the issue of corruption and were holding the Congress responsible for it. But it was a farce and a complete drama, as it was the Congress, which had made efforts to curb corruption," said Sonia Gandhi, who kick-started the Congress campaign for the November 4 assembly polls by addressing a rally in the historic Paddal ground of Mandi town.
"Who brought powerful tool of Right to Information Act (RTI) that can expose corruption at different level? Did the BJP or NDA enact it? Who brought many other laws that ensure punishment to corrupt? It is the Congress-led UPA and not the BJP that has shown guts to fight corruption," Sonia said.
Attacking the BJP over the issue of Lokpal Bill, the Congress chief charged that it was the BJP, which scuttled the bill in the Rajya Sabha though the UPA government was serious to pass the bill as soon as possible.
Showing UPA's seriousness to curb corruption, she, however, admitted that it was a matter of shame that corruption had afflicted the system of governance and country like cancer.
"It's unfortunate that the BJP and others were playing politics over the issue. Those who are creating ruckus over the issue of corruption were not opposing corruption, but were doing so just to oppose the Congress," Sonia said.
The Congress president also launched a scathing attack on the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh and accused it of not making any efforts to take the benefits of central schemes launched for the poor and needy in the state to them.
"Central funds to the tune of Rs10,000 crore, which were allocated to the state, lapsed last year as the BJP government did not make adequate efforts to implement various centrally-sponsored schemes in the state. This government has also protected education mafia in the state. This is the time you have to decide what kind of government you want," she said in her address.
Sonia Gandhi also tried to defend the UPA on the issue of inflation. In context of hike in diesel prices, she contended that it was inevitable because of the increase in international crude prices. The UPA chairperson, however, pointed out that the Congress-ruled states had reduced value-added tax (VAT) on diesel to lessen the impact of the price hike, but the BJP-run states were not doing so deliberately.
Himachal Pradesh Congress president Virbhadra Singh, Congress legislature party leader Vidya Stokes and union commerce minister Anand Sharma, in their speeches, also attacked Prem Kumar Dhumal-led government on various issues.