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Sonia blames BJP for neglecting UP during NDA tenure

Sonia Gandhi blames BJP government for utterly neglecting Uttar Pradesh during the tenure of NDA government, reports Umesh Raghuvanshi.

lucknow Updated: Apr 26, 2007 05:23 IST

Taking Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his home turf the Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday blamed his government for utterly neglecting Uttar Pradesh during the tenure of NDA government. Sonia stepped up attacks on Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav who too reached Rae Bareli today to counter charges she had leveled against him at Etawah recently.

“Till 2004 Lok Sabha elections the then central government adopted same attitude as is being done by present state regime,” said Sonia while addressing a public rally at Jyotiba Phule Park in Chowk area here this evening.

Sonia though did not spare any of the three major political parties the BJP, BSP and the Samajwadi Party she was tactical in her approach and referred to city’s culture, 1857 war of independence and the Lucknavi tehzib while blaming non-Congress governments for pushing the state on path of backwardness. The Congress though received wide support in 2004 poll across the country Uttar Pradesh lagged behind on that front as well,” said Sonia while urging people to strengthen the Congress in state as they did at Centre.

Sonia’s concern was obvious. So soon after reaching at the dais she asked the position of party’s candidates. The Union Minister of State for Steel Akhilesh Das pointed this to the people while addressing the rally. The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) President Salman Khurshid also had this question on the top of his mind when he urged the crowd to assure her that that party would win all the seats of Lucknow.

Sonia called upon the people to teach a lesson to those who did not give equal treatment to various sections of society. “Equal care should be taken of the poor, the backward, minorities, youth and women,” she said adding those who did not do so should be taught a lesson. “You can’t trust these people. There is a marked difference between their words and deeds,” said Sonia adding that the industries set up during the Congress’ tenure were lying closed while no additional facilities for irrigation or solve the drinking water problem have been created.

In an obvious indication towards the BJP Sonia said a leading political party was making attempts to assume power in the name of religion and pushing state into the communal cauldron. She blamed the BSP (without naming) for playing with the sentiments of the poor. Sonia also used the occasion to step up attacks on Mulayam government and called upon the people to seek account of thousands of crore that had been allotted to Uttar Pradesh. Without naming the Chief Minister or his government Sonia said the Centre was allocating a large amount of funds to Uttar Pradesh. The funds were however not being properly utilised. A number of cities could have been benefited from the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission launched by the UPA government, she said adding that the Mulayam government did not take scheme seriously.

Sonia listed the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP), the creation of a separate ministry for the minorities, Sachar Committee Report, schemes for women welfare to assert that the Manmohan Singh Led government at Centre was taking care of all the sections of society. The Mulayam government did not take any advantage of the schemes. Sonia said nearly 30 percent of the funds allocated in the primary education sector had been given to Uttar Pradesh. Yet funds were not properly utilized, she said.

First Published: Apr 26, 2007 05:21 IST