NDA's 'indecent' campaign irks Sonia

Updated on Apr 13, 2004 06:20 PM IST

Sonia regretted that the NDA Govt at the Centre had launched a sustained campaign to tarnish the image of Nehru-Gandhis family.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Mangaldoi (assam)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said she regretted that the NDA government at the Centre had launched a sustained campaign to tarnish the image of the Nehru-Gandhis family.

"The NDA government by continuously stating that the Congress has done nothing for the development of the country during its rule has tarnished the image of the Nehru-Gandhis family and this is indeed regrettable," Sonia said at an election rally in Mangaldoi  held amidst torrential rains.

In her brief speech, the Congress president said that "when a person like Atal Bihari Vajpayee does not recognise the contribution of the Gandhi family and the good that they did for the country then I feel very sad about it."

"The fact is that during the last 50 years it was the Congress that took the country to the path of development and the accusations made by Vajpayee and Venkaiah Naidu is totally false," she said.

Sonia claimed that all these accusations were baseless and was primarily "publicity hype to garner votes for BJP."

She promised that if Congress was voted to power they would bring the Northeastern states at par with the other developed states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

"The previous Congress governments had given enough money for rural development but during the last five years the entire north east has been pushed to the brink of backwardness due to non-allotment of funds," she added.

Referring to militancy, Sonia said the previous Congress governments had made sincere efforts to solve the problem but it aggravated in the last five years during the NDA tenure.

"The NDA government by initiating talks with the NSCN has not yet found a solution and the Prime Minister by urging the Naga militants to refrain from violence clearly proved that the entire process was faulty and not on the right track," she added.

The Congress would at no cost allow the scrapping of the Illegal Migrants Determination (Tribunal) Act, she said adding, her party would not tolerate the harassment of ordinary Indian citizens and the Act would stay to protect the rights of genuine citizens.

"No genuine Indian citizen should be harassed in the name of foreigners," she added.

Sonia accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of not being concerned about the common people and claimed that the main motto of the Congress was to serve the weaker sections of the society.

The Congress would work for the poor, unemployed, women and other weaker sections of the society, she added.

The election rally was cut short due to heavy rains and the Congress president who was earlier scheduled to address a rally at Tura in neighbouring Meghalaya was forced to cancel her programme due to bad weather.

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