Skirting the questions of impropriety in the business dealings of her son-in-law Robert Vadra, Congress president and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre here on Thursday and asked it to tackle corruption in the States ruled by it.

Ms. Gandhi refrained from making any comment on the issues raised by India Against Corruption.

Addressing party workers at Nehru maidan, Ms. Gandhi alleged that corruption was rampant in Karnataka, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, governed by the BJP. She questioned why the BJP had failed to control corruption in these States. The party instead was targeting the UPA on corruption issues, she said. She said that when the UPA sought to enact a legislation to control corruption through the Lok Pal Bill, the BJP had stalled it in Parliament.

Likening corruption to cancer, Ms. Gandhi said it affected poor people. No political party other than the Congress had taken measures to control it. The UPA government brought the Right to Information Act. Many scandals were exposed after the Act came into force, she said.

Defending the government’s decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment in the retail sector, Ms. Gandhi said that it would provide a direct link between the farmer and the market. Consumers could get commodities at lower prices. The policy of the government created more jobs. Criticising the BJP for attacking the Union government over it, Ms. Gandhi alleged that the BJP did not want the welfare of farmers.

The Congress president said that the Union government did not have control over international oil market. The Congress workers from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi participated in the convention. Ms. Gandhi asked the party workers to face the next Assembly election in Karnataka “unitedly.” Later, Ms. Gandhi attended the centenary celebrations of Gokarnanatha Temple at Kudroli.

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