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Sonia Gandhi slams BJP over graft

All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi today slammed Bharatiya Janata Party over corruption in a veiled attack on the saffron party's president Nitin Gadkari. Gaurav Bisht and Naresh K Thakur report.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2012 01:46 IST

All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over corruption in a veiled attack on the saffron party's president Nitin Gadkari.

Sonia Gandhi questioned BJP on the action taken against its leaders facing corruption charges.

"I want to ask BJP have you taken any action against your leaders who are mired in corruption charges," said Sonia Gandhi at the election rally in the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, and the temple town, Kangra.

She said that the Congress had taken effective measures to weed out corruption in country.

"The way the Congress and UPA have fought against corruption, no one has ever done before," said Sonia Gandhi.

"The people against whom we had evidence we took action," said she accusing BJP of stalling Lokpal in Rajya Sabha.

She added that it was Congress who had pushed the Right to Information (RTI) bill.

"We have pushed for the RTI, we have passed the Lokpal in the Lok Sabha - who stalled it in the Rajya Sabha, BJP," she said adding, "They are not against corruption, they are against the Congress."

Gandhi charged BJP of "misleading" the public on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

"It was for the benefit of farmers, we have decided to bring in FDI in retail. The farmers will not get exploited and consumers will also get products at cheaper rates," she said adding that opposition was creating rumours on FDI and no state is forced to accept FDI in retail.

"The Opposition not thinking about the betterment of the farmers," said she.

After Gujarat chief minister Narender Modi took jibe at Sonia on Monday for remaining mute on rising inflation, UPA chairperson said that she is concerned about the spiralling the prices.

"The Congress is also helping farmers and the poor by giving them LPG cylinders but why hasn't this state accepted it. We have been working for the people continuously," said she.

Making a fervent appeal to oust the BJP government Sonia Gandhi targeted chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

"There has been no development under the BJP government despite huge monetary assistance given by the centre to the state. I want to ask where thousands of crores provided by the centre for the development of the state and its people have gone," she asked.

She charged that the wrong policies being implemented by the state government were responsible for bringing development to a grounding halt.

"The state BJP was not concerned about the welfare for the public but for their kith and kin," alleged Gandhi.

"No new employment opportunities were created by state government, the tea industry, horticulture and tourism were not promoted," she said adding that the state government was unable to uplift the financial status of the public.

Sonia Gandhi struck an emotional chord with the audiences at the meeting.

"Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her husband Rajiv Gandhi shared a special bond with people of Himachal Pradesh. I know the people of Himachal are not gullible and they will take the right decision," she said.

Others who spoke included HPCC president Virbhadra Singh, Union commerce minister Anad Sharma, CLP leader Vidya Stokes and AICC general secretary and state party incharge, Birender Chaudhary.