A day after filing her nomination papers from Rae Bareli, Congress president Sonia Gandhi attacked Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s BJP regime in Madhya Pradesh for encouraging land and mining mafia raj. She also sought to deflate the development claims of Narendra Modi in Gujarat and Nitish Kumar in Bihar.
Addressing a rally at Sidhi in MP, Gandhi asked why BJP was blind towards massive corruption in the state with ‘land and mining mafia’ ruling the roost and scams being unearthed. “How can BJP make allegations of corruption against us when there are serious charges all around? So many scams like Vyapam (Board of Professional Examination), the biggest in education, have surfaced in the state,” she said.
Rebuking the Chouhan government for lying, she alleged that it did not implement steps taken for the poor and the labourers, inflicting suffering on the downtrodden. Her campaign at Sidhi was in support of Congress candidate Indrajit Kumar Patel.
At Sasaram in Bihar, where she campaigned for Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, Gandhi said the Congress deserved as much credit for the development in Gujarat and Bihar as Modi’s BJP and Kumar’s JD (U) respectively.
“The truth is that the Congress-led government at the Centre had laid the foundation for development of all states including Gujarat and Bihar by pushing in a huge quantum of funds in the two states,” she said. But, she added, the BJP and JD (U) were trying to give the impression they did everything on their own.
The Congress president also hit out at the BJP for its design to divide the country and hijack the levers of power. “It is up to you now to choose between a party that is communal and the Congress that believes in brotherhood and harmonious development of all sections of the society,” she said.
Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati too cautioned against electing communal forces to power. At a rally in Aligarh, UP, she targeted Modi for the Gujarat riots. “There will be no hope of development in the country if the shadow of communal tension looms on the horizon,” she said.