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Sonia on campaign trail, targets BJP

india Updated: Mar 23, 2009 15:26 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday launched her party's campaign for the general elections from this Karnataka town by targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and promising "development and growth".

“You have to decide what politics you want; on the one hand you have the Congress which has led country on the path of development and growth. On the other hand, you have the BJP under whom every one suffered during the NDA regime,” Gandhi said at a rally in Davangere, about 250 km from the state capital Bangalore.

Gandhi also criticised Karnataka's ruling BJP for allegedly promoting communal elements and shaking the foundations of Indian democracy.

"Davangere, which is centrally located in the state, is significant for us, as it was from here that Sonia Gandhi launched the party's campaign for 1999 state assembly elections, resulting in our victory. We consider it a good omen," Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president RV Deshpande told IANS in Davangere earlier in the day.

The rally has been christened Bharat Nirman, the same name as one of the flagship programmes initiated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2005-06.