"It is a shame on the part of the BJP and the CPI-M [ Images ] (Communist Party of India-Marxist) to attack Dr Manmohan Singh. When a person becomes a PM, whether he belongs to Congress or other party, he becomes the Prime Minister of the country," Gandhi said, addressing an election rally in Vatakara in north Kerala [ Images ] as part of her day-long whirlwind tour of the state.
"I am shocked that senior leaders of the BJP and the Left are using negative language against our Prime Minister," she said as she fended off the attack by the saffron party, whose prime ministerial candidate L K Advani [ Images ] has repeatedly called Singh a "weak prime minister."
"It was shameful that the Left joined the BJP in attacking the prime minister ignoring the fact he is endowed with integrity. We are fortunate to have a PM like him," Gandhi said as she took on the Communists in their stronghold state.
Questioning the Left's track record on secularism, she said they had joined with the BJP twice and it was only the Congress, which never compromised with the ideology of BJP.
Asserting that the Congress alone carried all sections of the people together, Gandhi said, "We had never ever compromised on secularism". They say we are compromising. Compromising with whom? We are not like others. We will not compromise with anybody," she said in her tirade against the Left.
"They don't have a single issue against us because of our programmes and policies. But they continue to blame us. We are not like them. When a government is formed we consider it as a government for all, not for any particular party," she said.
Making her exhortations in an area with a sizable Muslim population, she said the Congress had always taken care of the welfare of all sections, especially the weaker groups.
Sonia also said it was for the first time since independence a Ministry for Minority Welfare was set up and the process of implementing the Sachar Committee recommendations on social and educational backwardness of Muslims had begun.
Lashing out at the Left Democratic Front rule in Kerala, she said in the last three years it could not accomplish anything. However, the United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] government had cleared a number of projects for Kerala despite the LDF government creating problems.
"The hallmark of the LDF rule was top level corruption, internal fights in the coalition, attack on judiciary and media and administrative stagnation," Sonia charged.
Congress candidates Mullapally Ramachandran (Vatakara), M K Raghavan (Kozhikode), Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala and former chief minister Oommen Chandy were also present in the rally.