'BJP poisoning young minds: Sonia

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Jalandhar
May 03, 2004 09:24 PM IST

Sonia Gandhi accused BJP of "saffronising education and poisoning the minds of the youth" through its "hidden agenda".

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday accused the BJP of "saffronising education and poisoning the minds of young generation" as part of its "hidden agenda".

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HT Image

Wrapping up her electioneering in Punjab, she alleged "by distorting the history books and saffronising the education in the schools, colleges and the university, the communal forces of BJP want to poison the minds of young generation and is disseminating incorrect information about our past history as part of its hidden agenda."

"While Congress has made history, BJP has marred history by distorting it to inject poison in younger generation. The Vajpayee-led NDA government did not fulfil its fundamental responsiblity of caring for common man. Rather it aggravated the agonies of every section," Gandhi alleged.

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The NDA's "misrule" has actually undone every achievement of the successive Congress governments. "During the Congress rule, the party tried to build the nation by involving all sections of the society including weaker and poor ones."

The Congress chief expressed concern over the "spiralling rise" in prices during the last five years of BJP rule.

Terming the NDA dispensation as a "government of scams", she said "people have not forgotten the scandals like Tehelka, UTI, coffin and other scams in defence deals."

"We don't have any personal enmity with BJP leaders. Our fight with BJP is based on ideology and principles and this fight had been going on since independence. We thought for the nation while they only thought for their vested interests."

Keeping an eye on Dalit votes, who have a large presence in the region, she said it was the Congress which had given the benefit of reservation for them. Later, it was during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure that seats were reserved for women and Dalits in Panchayats.

"We don't oblige anyone when we stand by the weak," Gandhi said. "Congress has a committment to ensure the welfare of common man and nobody can wean Congress from this sankalap. What did the Vajpayee government do for Dalits and other weaker sections, poor and women?"

"I pledge that Congress will continue to look after the interests and welfare of the Dalits, poor and other weaker sections of the society and will do everything to ensure their uplift," Gandhi said.

"Vajpayeeji had promised to give one crore jobs every year to the youth and has instead given unemployment to them," she alleged. "Profit-making industries were sold away to private parties and workers were snatched of their jobs further increasing unemployment in country."

On the problems being faced by famers in the state, Gandhi said Punjab always led the nation in the agricultural sector but the NDA government instead of providing them more facilities has put them in difficulty by its "wrong policies".

"BJP and its allies, including the SAD, have discarded all values both in politics and governance. They used politics for protecting and promoting their own interests," Gandhi alleged.

"Hollow slogans will not lead to development. Honesty and strong will are required for reforms and prosperity of commonman. If you compare the Congress governments at the Centre with the present NDA regime, you will find a world of difference," Gandhi said.

"The present regime has to go. People have no choice but to usher in a change," she said and asked people to repose their confidence in Congress to ensure the welfare of commonman, peace, amity, brotherhood and development of every section of the society.

"Peace is a pre-requisite for development. Divisive elements promoting self-interest under the garb of politics cannot provide it," the Congress chief said.

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