Turning the heat on Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani once again, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday asked why he had not resigned as home minister over the Kandahar plane hijack episode in 1999. "I want to ask Advaniji if such a big conspiracy was hatched, with terrorists being taken to Kadahar by his government without his knowledge, then why did he not resign when he came to know about the truth later?" she said addressing a public rally at Bilaspur, 100 km from Raipur.
Gandhi was reacting to a previous statement by Advani that he was unaware of the then National Democratic Alliance government's decision to release terrorists in exchange for Indian hostages in 1999. Advani was home minister at that time. "What he is saying is correct? Or was something else? You have to think over the issue while making up your mind for voting," the Congress leader remarked.
Sonia Gandhi said only the Congress could give a stable, strong, able leadership and honest government and this could happen only under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Renu Jogi, wife of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, is the Congress candidate from Bilaspur.
Sonia Gandhi went to Bilaspur after addressing a gathering in Kanker constituency. There she accused the state's BJP government of neglecting the development of Chhattisgarh. "The state lacks development because of the lack of will for development among those who are ruling the state," Gandhi said, while recounting development schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the midday meal plan undertaken by the Congress-led government in New Delhi.
"We have taken the country on the road to development. The growth rate under the Congress led government has been historic," she told a massive gathering on the last day of campaigning before elections for Chhattisgarh's 11 Lok Sabha seats on April 16.