Gadkari on Sonia’s firing line over corruption

Sonia Gandhi waves to the election rally crowds at The Ridge Shimla

 Shimla: Businesses of BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s being clouded for using dubious means, Congress President Sonia Gandhi lashed out at the opposition for inaction against tainted and corrupt leaders.

While Gadkari’s second round of election campaign in Himachal stands cancelled today, Gandhi at a rally here said, “I want to ask the BJP what action it has taken against its own leaders who are accused of graft? No other party has fought corruption as we have.” 

“BJP is not against corruption, it is against Congress,” said Gandhi.


Only last week Gadkari had shied away from holding public rally’s in more populated areas by picking Recong Peo, close to India-China border in Kinnaur district and remote Nerva in Chopal division of Shimla district for addressing voters.

In his speech to the gatherings, the BJP president had not made any reference to corruption and was even silent over corruption charges leveled against former union minister Virbhadra Singh.

On her second election campaign visit to Himachal she said that it was Congress which had brought forth the Lokpal Bill to fight corruption and earlier had enacted the Right to Information Act for ensuring transparency in the government functioning.

She added that it was BJP who had stalled passing of Lok Pal bill
in the Rajya Sabha whereas Congress party controlled Lok Sabha had approved it.

Supporting the government decision to open up FDI in multi brand retail, the congress president said that it would benefit farmers of the country and fetch them better returns.

BJP is spreading canards about FDI in retail whereas the investment the sector would attract will help in establishing cold chains that would save post harvest damages to highly perishable roduces of horticulture and off season vegetables, she said.

Hitting out at the Prem Kumar Dhumal government, she said that BJP had made very attractive promises before being elected to power but in five years failed to fulfill them.

Mentioning the funds devolved by the central government to the state, Sonia said that the union government had not discriminated against the state in any manner but the government had failed to properly utilize the funds handed out.

Sonia Gandhi arriving at venue

The Dhumal government had failed to utilize MNREGA funds. The states economy is in shambles, farming is in distress and unemployment is on the rise, she said.

She added that development in Himachal had come to a standstill, hospitals and schools were short of funds and staff. Congress on coming to power would accelerate the pace of development.

Showing concern for price rise of essential commodities, she said that fighting inflation was not just the responsibility of central government but also of the state government. “Congress state state governments have already declared to increase quota of subsidized LPG cylinders from 6 to 9,” she said.

The Congress president claimed credit for the UPA government in giving the state an IIT, a medical college, a fashion institute and additional battalions of reserve police.

Flanked by union minister Anand Sharma, HPCC president Virbhadra Singh, leader of the state opposition Vidya Stokes and other leaders, the congress president arrived two hours behind schedule.

Polls for the Himachal Pradesh assembly are scheduled for November 4.

Photo: Amit

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