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Uttar Pradesh the worst state: Sonia

In a scathing attack on the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday termed Uttar Pradesh as "sabse barbad pradesh" (the worst state) in the country.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2007 09:21 IST

In a scathing attack on the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday termed Uttar Pradesh as "sabse barbad pradesh" (the worst state) in the country.

Apparently referring to the much-hyped Samajwadi Party advertisement showing actor Amitabh Bachchan hailing Uttar Pradesh as "Uttam Pradesh", she remarked: "They call it 'Uttam Pradesh' (best state) but actually they have relegated it to 'sabse barbad pradesh' (the worst state in the country)."

Accusing Yadav for "ruining the state on all fronts", the Congress chief gave a call for change of guard in the state.

Blaming the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre for the rising prices, she said, "Prices of essential commodities had gone up because it had scrapped certain laws aimed at punishing hoarders, adulterators and black-marketers.

"Though we have tried to restore some of these laws, it will take some time to have the desired effect."

Fully aware of how the state's 114 million-strong electorate stood sharply divided on religious and caste lines, she warned: "If you continue to remain divided, then no one would be able to save you."

Sonia Gandhi said it was high time people of the state realised that it was absolutely essential to rise above such considerations.

"Give a befitting reply to the divisive forces by bringing back the Congress party, which alone can put this state back on the development path," she declared.

"Don't miss this chance - one mistake could cost Uttar Pradesh really dear," she reminded the crowds, before hopping back into the helicopter to move on to her next destination during her whirlwind tour of the state.

The third round polling in the seven-phased assembly elections in the state will be held Wednesday.

The Congress party ruled the country's most populous state for the first four decades after the independence, but has been sidelined here by the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samaj Party for the past 17 years.

Sunday saw Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, apart from Sonia Gandhi's son and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra, campaigning for the party.