Corruption was the watchword on Saturday as BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh — both facing allegations — addressed election rallies in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh.
But while Gadkari chose to target the Congress and ducked queries on the controversies dogging him, Singh accused the ruling BJP of looting the state and trying to divert people’s attention by falsely accusing him of wrongdoing.
The BJP leader, arriving a day after receiving the support of his party in the face of charges of financial bunglings by his company, dived straight into the campaigning with rallies in Shimla and Kinnaur.
“The Congress indulged in corruption wherever it could, from inside the earth, over the earth and even in the air,” he said. “The only agenda of the UPA government of Sonia Gandhi is to indulge in loot with both hands.”
BJP president Nitin Gadkari addresses a rally in Nerwa, Himachal Pradesh. HT photo
In strikingly similar words, Singh told voters in Mandi district, “The BJP state government has looted state wealth with both hands and tried to divert people’s attention by putting unnecessary blame on me. But I have no time to reply to their false allegations right now”
He said he would reply when the elections — on November 4 — were over. The former CM also said the Congress would set up an inquiry to unearth ‘benami land deals’ during the BJP’s reign.
Development was the other hot topic of the day with both leaders crediting their respective parties with the progress that’s come about in the hill state.