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Sonia joins the battle

The Congress president said the Raman Singh govt had misutilised the Rs 8,000 crore that the Centre had allocated for development and employment programmes in the state.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2008 02:12 IST
Ejaz Kaiser

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said at an election rally here on Tuesday that the corruption-ridden Raman Singh government had misutilised Rs 8,000 crore that the UPA government had allocated to Chhattisgarh for various development and employment programmes.

"The dream of a progressive and peaceful Chhattisgarh has been shattered by the BJP," she said.

Addressing her first campaign meeting in this round of Assembly polls at Kharsiya in Raigarh district, 200 km east of Raipur, she said, "People in Chhattisgarh need to chose between two divergent beliefs – one that is practiced by the BJP, based on hatred, narrow vision, divisiveness and the other adopted by the Congress, focusing on secularism, fraternity, peace and progress.”

Lashing out at the ruling BJP government, Gandhi said that in the past five years in Chhattisgarh, the Naxal problem has gone from bad to worse, with innocent people having been killed at random. Corruption and atrocities had also become the order of the day, she said.

Promising a clean, transparent, accountable and development-oriented government, the Congress president cautioned the people not to get swayed by the BJP’s hollow promises.

The second and final phase of polling will be held in the state on Thursday, with 88.19 lakh voters deciding the fate of 687 candidates in 51 seats. The first phase was held on November 14.