Congress president Sonia Gandhi raised the party’s poll campaign pitch in Himachal Pradesh on Monday, slamming the ruling BJP for letting “central funds to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crore allocated to the state lapse last year”.
“The BJP government did not make adequate efforts to implement various central schemes,” she said at a rally in Mandi town, 140 km north of state capital Shimla. “This government has also protected education mafia in the state. This is the time you have to decide what kind of government you want in future,” Gandhi said. The assembly polls are scheduled on November 4.
She also tore into the BJP over corruption, saying its fight against graft was a farce.
“These people (BJP) are making huge noise over the issue of corruption and targeting the Congress when they themselves are deep into it… they should introspect.” Gandhi, chairperson of the Congress-led UPA, however, admitted it was a matter of shame that corruption had afflicted the system of governance and the country like cancer.
She said the Congress had made efforts to curb corruption.
“Who brought the powerful tool of Right to Information (RTI) Act that can expose corruption at different levels? Did BJP or NDA enact it? It was the UPA which brought the RTI Act to tackle corruption.”
Gandhi also sought to defend the recent hike in diesel prices, contending that it was inevitable because of the increase in international crude prices.
She said Congress-ruled states had reduced value added tax on diesel to cushion the impact of the price hike, but BJP-run states were not doing so deliberately.