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Ensure rivals' wipe out in UP poll: Sonia Gandhi

Gandhi expressed confidence that the message from her victory in the bye-polls in Rae Bareli would reach "every corner of the country."

india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 19:50 IST

Raising the stake in assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh slated early next year, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday asked her party workers to ensure opponents are "wiped out" in the electoral battle and launched a veiled attack on Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

On her first visit to Rae Bareli constituency since she was re-elected to the Lok Sabha last month, Gandhi expressed confidence that the message from her victory in the bye-polls in Rae Bareli would reach "every corner of the country."

"We have to face the challenge of Vidhan Sabha elections and start our preparations. I am sure if you take a resolve that Congress will be successful not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in the entire country.

Whenever the elections will be held, the opponents will be wiped out," Gandhi told a rally at Feroze Gandhi College in Rae Bareli.

Taking a pot shot at Yadav and his aide Amar Singh, she said without naming either that "assembly elections are round the corner in Uttar Pradesh. These polls will decided who will prevail -- the rule of law or the whims of two or three people who indulge in communal and casteist politics."

Pointing out that the situation in the state had gone from bad to worse in the past 10-15 years, Gandhi said UP ka haal apse chupa nahin hai (the situation in UP is well known to you).

She said the people would have to decide whether they wanted a government that believed in caste and religious politics or an administration that could ensure progress.

She said the elections were a challenge for party workers and they should be ready for it.

Gandhi asked them to ponder the future of their children if governments promoted their own interests by dividing people on caste and religious lines.

"If you want to see your children to do well and if you want development, change such governments," she said.

Thanking the electorate of her Lok Sabha constituency for ensuring a massive victory for her, Gandhi said the voters had given a befitting reply to those who had levelled "baseless allegations" against her.

Charging Samajwadi Party government with "creating obstacles" in the development of Rae Bareli, she said she had taken several steps in this direction despite this.

Gandhi, who was accompanied by her son Rahul, the MP from Amethi, was flooded with complaints about the lack of drinking water, roads and irrigation facilities as well as persecution by the police.

She said she was aware of such problems and assured she would do whatever was possible to address them.

Gandhi said workers were the real strength of Congress and if they resolved to work unitedly, the party would taste success across the country.

"The Rae Bareli bye-election has proved that the party, which is able to take its voters to the polling booths, achieves success in the polls," she said.

Rahul thanked the people for reposing faith in his mother and assured them she was committed to development of the area.

First Published: Jun 18, 2006 19:50 IST