Asks the party why it is going soft on the charges of corruption against Gadkari
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday questioned the “double standards” of the Bharatiya Janata Party and demanded an explanation from it for adopting a soft stand on the corruption charges levelled against its president Nitin Gadkari. “It is only the Congress party that has always taken effective steps to curb corruption,” she claimed while addressing elections rallies in Shimla and Dharamsala.
Ms. Gandhi reminded the BJP that it was the Congress that brought the Right to Information Bill and the Lokpal Bill to fight corruption. The BJP-ruled States made a mess of the finances and promoted corruption all over, she said.
Defending Congress leaders who are facing various charges of corruption, the Congress leader said: “All such allegations against Congressmen are unfounded and motivated by political vendetta.” While refuting the charges of discrimination by the State government, she repeated her party’s stand on giving equal treatment to all States and liberal financial aid to Opposition-ruled States. She defended the party policy of bringing FDI in the retail sector and criticised the BJP for opposing it for the sake of opposition. “It would not only give better rates to farmers for their produce but also bring a big relief to the consumers,” she said.
Ms. Gandhi agreed that price rise was a grave problem but felt fighting inflation was also the responsibility of State governments. She claimed that Congress-ruled State governments had increased the quota of subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine.
Accusing the Prem Kumar Dhumal government in Himachal Pradesh of not utilising the entire Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act funds, she said the Centre was generous to the State but the BJP government failed to spend them effectively.
She said Himachal Pradesh was a shambles because of the BJP government, which had ignored development. Farmers’ economy was in dire straits as their returns were falling drastically. Lakhs of youths in the State were jobless.
‘Two sides of coin’
Addressing a party meeting in the Kusumpati constituency, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat termed the BJP and the Congress two sides of the same counterfeit coin. Both were allowing a complete plunder by the corporate sector. Terming price rise and corruption the two main issues being faced by the country, she said the Congress-led Centre and the BJP-led State were pursuing “anti-people” policies.