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Bengal poorest state: Sonia

india Updated: Apr 15, 2011 22:49 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
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“The Left Front regime has turned Bengal into the poorest among all Indian states,” said Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at an election rally in north Bengal on Friday.

Addressing a gathering of about 10,000 in her first rally in West Bengal, Gandhi alleged the Left had been partial in its development strategies. They had not spent anything on the areas dominated by Opposition parties, she said.

“The living condition of the peasants is deteriorating with each passing day. The Left is indifferent to the plight of the people of Bengal,” said Gandhi, three days before 54 assembly seats in north Bengal go to polls in the first phase on April 18.

“Ask the Left leaders what happened to the dreams they had shown you. Are they governing the state in a way that is friendly to the poor? Is this called communism,” asked Gandhi, while calling for a change at Writers’ Buildings, state headquarters.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who shared the stage with Gandhi, called upon dissident Congress leaders contesting as “independent” candidates to withdraw from the race and stay away from anti-alliance activities against the Trinamool-Congress combine.

On Wednesday the party expelled 13 persons for six months for working against the alliance.