Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) star campaigner and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday blamed Congress president Sonia Gandhi for increasing atrocities on women and children in the country.
"Though rape and murder of women are committed in New Delhi right under the nose of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has failed to prevent such heinous crimes," Modi said at a party rally at Kittur, about 30 km from this north Karnataka town.
Campaigning for the party's candidates for the ensuing parliamentary elections on a day's whirlwind tour of the southern state, Modi said "one-family rule" over the last six decades had resulted in rising poverty, under development and backwardness.
"While smaller nations have advanced on all fronts, a big country like India is lagging behind in almost every sphere. The Congress is responsible for perpetuating poverty," Modi said addressing the gathering in Hindi.
Accusing the UPA government of discriminating against the BJP-ruled Karnataka, Modi said though Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa was keen on accelerating the state's development, the centre was putting obstacles on the path of progress by holding up funds and delaying sanctions.
"If Karnataka has to hasten development, the people should vote for the BJP to help its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to form the government at the centre after the general elections," Modi said.
Holding the Congress responsible for abating terrorism, Modi said that more youngsters died in terror attacks than in war against Pakistan. The people's safety and national security have been compromised by the UPA's soft policy on terrorism.
"We need firm measures to fight terrorism. The UPA government had failed to hang Afzal Guru, convicted in the (2001) parliament attack," Modi said.