In her first election tour of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday lambasted the BJP government for all-pervasive corruption and “misappropriation” of Central funds for development schemes in the state.
Addressing election rallies in Bhind (Gwalior region) and Gadarwara (Mahakoshal), Gandhi also came down heavily on the BJP for demanding an account of 50 years of Congress rule after Independence . “They (the BJP) should also know what the Congress was 50 years before Independence,” she said.
The country achieved independence due to the sacrifices made by great Congress leaders, and after Independence, great visionaries pursued policies of nation building, she said.
“And what were these people (BJP) doing all these days? They were busy trying to destroy the country’s social fabric and sowing seeds of hatred to suit their designs, she charged.
Gandhi seemed to have been briefed well about the local election issues in Madhya Pradesh. While in Bhind, she referred to malnutrition deaths and atrocities against women. Her speech in Gadarwara also touched upon the damage to standing crops of soyabean and sugarcane due to faulty state government policies.
Corruption was the main focus of her speeches. She alleged that state ministers did not spare even Simhastha, alluding to the multi-crore rupee scam relating to the substandard construction during the 12-year Simhastha fair in Ujjain four years ago.
The Congress is strong in the two constituencies where Gandhi addressed rallies.
Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and state Congress chief Suresh Pachauri were present together at the rally in Bhind.
The atmosphere was reminiscent of the Dabra conclave in August 1993. In Dabra town near Gwalior, all the top Congress leaders of the state had assembled prior to the assembly election and vowed to bury the hatchet.
The late Madhavrao Scindia was the chief architect of the conclave. The Congress returned to power four months later.Since then Dabra is used as a metaphor for Congress unity in MP.