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'BJP, Sena remember Lord Ram only during polls'

Source: PTI
April 20, 2009 18:54 IST
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Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday launched a frontal attack on Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena accusing them of being "communal and parochial" and taking the country backward and said "these people remember Lord Ram only during elections."

"These people remember Lord Ram only during elections," Gandhi said addressing an election rally in Dhule in Marathwada region. "It is unfortunate that those invoking the name of secular and democratic ruler like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are those who divide people on the basis of region and religion," Sonia said.

"The new generation is fed up of politics of regionalism, casteism and also criminalisation of politics," she said.

Terming Indo-US nuclear deal as an achievement of the United Progressive Alliance government, Gandhi said the deal was done "on our terms but due to opposition to the deal from within the country, the country's image globally was tarnished."

The history of BJP and Sena has been one of opposing any progressive step, Sonia charged and added "these people were opposing when Congress was fighting for independence."

"These people were opposing us and ridiculing us when we were initiating steps like 33 per cent reservation of women, computerisation and IT revolution," she charged. "When the country got green revolution under Indira Gandhi's leadership and the banks were nationalised, at that time also these people were opposing the reforms," she said.

Claiming Congress was the only party capable of development and national integration, she said the world knows without Congress national development is not possible. "We are implementing the Sachar Committee report (on Muslim community's plight and welfare). We were the first to set up the ministry for minorities and also self-help group for women," she said.

On the achievements of the UPA government, Gandhi said the waiver of Rs 65,000 crore loan of farmers and providing pension and insurance in unorganised labour sector were the important decisions.

Gandhi attacked previous BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government's handling of internal security and recalled attacks on Red Fort and Akshrdham temple and Kandhahar plane hijack. "How can we forget that terrorists were released from jail and sent to Kandhahar? How can we forget the coffins of our brave soldiers during Kargil?" she said.

Earlier addressing a rally in Dhule, Gandhi hit out at BJP's slogan of having strong leadership and said while L K Advani was the Home Minister, there were various terror attacks in the country including the one on Parliament. "Perhaps their definition of a strong leader is one who was deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister when there was a series of terror attacks including the one on Parliament...and arrested terrorists were released and taken to Kandahar as if they were guests," Gandhi said at a rally in Dondaeecha near Dhule in north Maharashtra.

Referring to the deaths of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia said when it comes to being tough on terror the Congress did not need a certificate from anyone. "On the one hand, you have Congress which takes along everybody and adopts the path to development. On the other hand, you have people who spread poison in society and practise politics of hate," Gandhi added.

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