Sonia Gandhi addressed three massive rallies across Punjab on Sunday, insisting that the UPA government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was fully capable of tackling terrorism, strongly attacking the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine and listing her government’s numerous achievements during its past five year term.
In near identical speeches at Gurdaspur, Jalandhar and Chandigarh, the 62-year-old Congress president said certain forces were trying to derail the country by engineering terrorist attacks.
Addressing a poll rally at this town, 15km from the Pakistan border, Sonia said that certain forces were trying to derail the country’s growth by using terrorism, but the UPA government had firmly tackled them.
“Our methods of fighting terrorism are very different from those of the BJP,” she said.
Sonia noted that the UPA ‘s firm approach following the Mumbai terror attack last November had forced Pakistan to admit its role in the affair.
“This is quite unlike the BJP which took terrorists out of jail and ferried them to safe havens,” she said, referring to the Indian Airlines plane hijack of December 1999 following which, the then BJP led government had swapped three dreaded terrorists for the passengers held hostage.
Zeroing in on the state, Sonia maintained that the Parkash Singh Badal government had failed in every way. It had failed to keep its pre-election promise of providing power all 24 hours.
Sonia also lavished praise on the Prime Minister, calling him the most honest and capable leader the party had to take its agenda forward. “Compare our performance to that of the NDA’s” she urged her listeners. “Keep their eyes closed to harsh realities, they coined slogans like ‘India Shining’.”