'Iron man' depends on RSS for decisions: Sonia Gandhi | india | Hindustan Times
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'Iron man' depends on RSS for decisions: Sonia Gandhi

Stepping up attack on NDA's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani for his weak PM remarks against Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said the BJP leader himself "cannot take any decision without the approval of Sangh Parivar".

india Updated: Apr 19, 2009 01:05 IST

Stepping up attack on NDA's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani for his weak PM remarks against Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the BJP leader himself "cannot take any decision without the approval of Sangh Parivar".

"The leader (Advani) who has targeted our Prime Minister, can he ever take a decision without the approval of Sangh Parivar? He even had to quit his post once. Then you know who is weak," she said.

"Congress does not run on the instruction or order of anybody. It takes its orders from people," she told an election rally in Pangidi.

Gandhi had on April 15 alleged that the BJP leader was a "slave of the RSS", while dismissing his oft-repeated charge of Manmohan Singh being a weak Prime Minister.

She ridiculed BJP's charges of the UPA being "soft on terror", saying her party has never been weak in fighting terrorists.

Highlighting the achievements of Congress governments since Independence, Gandhi said whether it is industrialisation or modernisation of the country, nationalisation of banks, empowerment of women through Panchayat Raj institutions, it is Congress which "has always taken the lead".

"You are aware of the rich history of Congress in securing independence for the country and building a prosperous nation. You know what is the contribution of Congress in nation-building," she said.

"Congress has undertaken infrastructure development in the country and provided reservations for dalits and tribals and brought green revolution," Sonia said.

"It is the Congress which has ushered in landmark schemes like NREGS, mid-day meal, Rs 72,000 crore loan waiver and technical education by building institutes of repute," she told the rally.

She appealed to the electorate to vote for Congress candidates in the elections "to take forward the development works undertaken by the party governments."

Speaking on the occasion, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy asked people "not to believe" TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu who is "promising to provide everything for free".

The TDP has an alliance with TRS that is opposed to irrigation projects like Pulichintala and Polavaram that are meant for development of the coastal Andhra region and they may not be achieved if the TDP came to power, he charged.

Reddy had earlier kicked up a political row by allegedly stating that people from coastal Andhra and Telangana would have to live like foreigners in Hyderabad if the TDP-led "Grand Alliance came to power".

Reddy, however, clarified that he merely stated the views expressed by TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao who had threatened to close down the educational institutions and businesses run by those from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.