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Sonia says no compromise on communal forces

Sonia Gandhi says the Congress did not want certificate from BJP, as everybody know what happened when they were in power.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2008 10:39 PM IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday accused the BJP of "surrendering to terrorists" in the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar and also directed her ire at Left parties, saying she sought their support only to keep the communal forces at bay.

Strongly countering the BJP's criticism that the UPA Government had failed to tackle terrorism, Sonia Gandhi said the Congress did not want certificate from BJP, as everybody knew what happened when they were in power.

"There are some parties that raise fingers on the question of internal security on us. We do not want any certificate from those parties since everybody knows" how the BJP-led NDA government "surrendered to terrorists" in Kandahar in Afghanistan in 1999, Gandhi said, addressing a well-attended rally organised by the Congress in Thiruvananthapuram.

Also hitting out at the Left, she said Congress alone could take all sections of the people in the country together and her party would not make any compromise in sternly dealing with communal and divisive forces.

In an unsparing attack on the CPI (M)-led LDF government in Kerala, she said her party would oppose the Left-led coalitions with all the strength at its command in the states where the Left parties were in power despite the support they extended to the UPA government.

Asserting that the UPA had taken the Left's support only to keep the communal forces off power, she said " no doubt whatsoever, we are opponents in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura."

The LDF rule in Kerala had pushed the state to economic stagnation, politicised the education system and brought the media and judiciary under attack, she said.

Asserting that there was no truth in the propaganda that the Centre was delaying implementation of the Sachar Committee report, Gandhi said the UPA was committed to implementing the recommendations for the welfare of the Muslim community.

Stating that the UPA had taken a set of measures for the welfare of weaker sections, she said the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, now in force in 150 districts, would be extended to the entire country by March next.

She said an important legislation to make rehabilitation of people displaced by land acquisition mandatory was on the anvil.

Dismissing the LDF's charge that the Centre had ignored many of Kerala's demands, she said the UPA had given a huge financial allocation to the state for implementing major infrastructure projects like the Vallarpadam International Container Terminal in Kochi.

Besides taking steps for re-opening of closed tea gardens, a special package for agriculturally distressed districts like Wayanad, Kasargode and Palakkad were also announced.

Senior Kerala politician K Karunakaran who returned recently to the Congress fold after a three-year hiatus also attended the rally.

Sharing the podium with senior party leaders like AK Antony, Vayalar Ravi and Oommen Chandy, Sonia Gandhi wanted the Congress in the state to work together to win the trust of the electorate to sweep the next Lok Sabha polls.

Earlier, in a brief chat with party workers during her visit to the newly built District Congress Committee office, she asked the party workers to foster unity at all levels to meet the coming challenges.

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