Sonia Gandhi lashes out at BJP on Mangalore visit4 min read
Mangalore: The political scenario heated up in the region when United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi lashed out at the Karnataka government attacking the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). She was addressing a crowd of 30,000 Congress workers on October 19 at Nehru Grounds in Mangalore in an attempt to build fervour among the workers for upcoming elections, scheduled to take place in the state next year.
The Congress President said, “The people of this region are fed up of BJP and the empty promises made by the party. They have violated the mandate of several individuals. As Congress workers, we have been endowed with a special responsibility to effectively reach out to the public. It all depends on how we reach out to the people and channelize their anger towards BJP into votes for the Congress party.”
She motivated the workers by asking them to sync differences, and work together in unity to strengthen the party and demanded that the workers should not be harmed due to the variances among the senior authorities in the party.
The Congress President took the opportunity to speak about various national issues. She said, “Our export growth has fallen; we have to pay much more. On one hand, the government is trying to stay stable with the prices; on the other end we are trying our best to sustain our programmes for the poor. The petrol prices have risen as much as from $40 per barrel to $100 per barrel currently, but we still continue to subsidise kerosene. We have been compelled to increase the price of petrol. UPA is doing the best it can as it holds the responsibility of the entire government.”
Slinging arrows on the NDA government, Gandhi spoke in context of FDI. She remarked, “What is ironical is that BJP were bringing out the same policy when NDA was in power and now are attacking it just for the sake of it.” She added that the FDI was to lessen the problems of the farmers and assuring direct linkage between farmers and the market, resulting in not just reduced prices for customers but also creation of jobs in the process. “The Karnataka government says that not much money is rendered to them. The last five years the UPA has provided the State Government with Rs. 80,000 Crores. When NDA was there it rendered only Rs 30,000 Crores? What have they done with the 80,000 Crores?” she asked demanding an explanation from the Karnataka government.
During her address, Gandhi also mentioned the Central government’s decision to cap subsidised LPG cylinders at six per year and said the Congress-ruled states had raised it to nine cylinders per year. She pounded the Karnataka Government for not doing the same and also not reducing VAT on diesel.
A high point came in her speech when she lashed at BJP on issues related to corruption commenting that the BJP was just pretending to fight against corruption. “Corruption is a ‘cancer’ which is spread across society and hurts ordinary citizens the most. We wanted to bring Lok Pal but the BJP stopped it in the Rajya Sabha. Why? These are questions for which answers must be received. People of Karnataka will give an answer back to them,” said 65-year-old Gandhi.
Taking credit on behalf of the UPA for the RTI Act (Right to Information), she said, “No other party has done what the UPA has done. Congress brought the RTI legislation. It is through the RTI that these scandals are coming out. We brought it because we wanted to curb corruption.”
She ended her address by accusing the BJP of dividing the multi-cultural state of Karnataka on communal lines. Thus, asking the members to work hard and destroy forces of BJP which indeed is destroying the fabric of society.
Commenting on Gandhi’s visit to Mangalore; Amrit Shenoy, Vice President, Udupi-Chikmagalur Youth Congress said, “The Congress workers in the state need to be motivated considering the elections are less than a year away. There are local body elections as well as assembly elections waiting at the corner of next year. Therefore, if the AICC (All India Congress Committee) President
herself comes down, it will be a great boost for the Karnataka chapter of the Congress.”
Sub-edited by Sabari Saran
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