Rahul goes east, tears into Advani | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul goes east, tears into Advani

india Updated: Apr 02, 2009 01:07 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Congress youth icon Rahul Gandhi took on the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, L.K. Advani, head-on on Wednesday. Whizzed through Bihar and Jharkhand in a Pawan Hans helicopter to address four back-to-back rallies, the same number that Advani had addressed on Tuesday, he launched a no-holds barred attack.

“People want to know from him (Mr Advani) whether the then NDA government had capitulated before the terrorists in Kandhar and facilitated the release of some of their hardcore members lodged in Indian jails,” Rahul said in his electoral speeches in Lohardaga and Ramgarh in Jharkhand.

“We have an opposition that talks about corruption and terrorism, but it does not see what is happening in Bihar. The people, during whose regime Parliament was attacked and an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked and taken to Kandahar… are now saying that we do not fight terrorism. The fact, however, is that Pakistan has been kept under a leash after the Mumbai attack only because of our stern stand,” the Congress general-secretary told the crowds in Bihar’s Buxar and Aurangabad.

In his address, Rahul also focused on his favourite idea: youth. The party has fielded many youth contestants this time in the elections he said. “Next time it would be more. And this is all the more important when you talk about the country’s changing future.”

In both states, Rahul also focused on local issues — the Kosi floods and corruption in Bihar and the implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA) in Jharkhand.

The Congress star campaigner said the people of Bihar contribute to the development of several states, but Bihar unfortunately continues to languish. “In Bihar, no one gets employment. Your people are contributing to the progress of
Punjab, Haryana and Delhi while the state government revels in keeping its own people backward."

“At one point of time, Bihar and UP were the two top states. Today, they are running backwards while the country is Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasadmoving forward.”

However, at both the Bihar rallies, he took care not to say anything against UPA railway minister and and Lok Janashakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan.