Cong 'misrule' impeded India's progress: Advani
Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Monday said if India's progress had been impeded it was because of the 48 years of Congress "misrule".
"The Congress has to be held responsible and put in the dock for this," Advani, whose Bharat Uday Yatra entered Orissa at the Jonk river bridge, two km from here, told an election meeting.
The NDA government, led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was making an "honest attempt" to ensure progress in all fields with special emphasis on rural development and health care, Advani said.
"During Vajpayee's six year rule, the country's prestige had gone up and it had generated a new hope and confidence in the people," he said.
"Isliye hum kehte hain ki aaj bharat chamak raha hai... main isi din ka intzaar kar raha hun jisi din main dawa kar sakun ki bharat chamak gaya hai" (this is why we are saying that India is shining, but I am waiting for the day when I can say that India has shone completely), he said.
Advani said that his yatra, which entered the 31st day on Monday, had evoked a "strong goodwill" from the people.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the government had fixed a target to ensure for everyone education, drinking water, health care, road connection and water for irrigation by 2020.
"It's a big challenge and the government is committed to it," he said adding the Vajpayee regime had gained credibility by ensuring su-shaasan (good governance).
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the state BJP president Manmohan Samal were present at the Jonk river bridge to welcome Advani and his entourage into the state.
Raman Singh, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, who accompanied Advani up to here, returned to Raipur.
The Deputy Prime Minister would spend three days in Orissa on the last leg of his 8,000 km yatra through the country before ending the journey at the pilgrim city of Puri on Wednesday evening.
There was an enthusiastic response to Advani's yatra with large crowds gathering at Bileianjal, Tarbod, Udyanbandh, Komna and khariar to have a glimpse of the leader.
Large number of BJP and BJD flags were found all along the road leading to Khariar road.
The BJP candidate for Balangir Lok Sabha constituency Sangeeta Singh Deo and the party nominee for Nuapada assembly seat Basanta Kumar Panda were also present.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Patnaik said Advani's yatra created a new awakening among the people while generating rashtriya swabhiman (national pride).
He accused the previous Congress governments of failure to take the state forward saying the BJD-BJP government was stressing on rural development and strengthening the Panchayat Raj institutions.