First phase of Assembly polls on Monday

With four days to go for the first phase of Assembly polls in 18 constituencies of the southern region of Chhattisgarh, the electoral battleground here witnessed an intense war of words between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday.

If Ms. Gandhi attacked the Raman Singh government and contrasted the implementation of welfare programmes by the two parties, besides pointing out lack of security in Naxal-hit areas, Mr. Modi slammed the Congress mainly on price rise and corruption.

Mr. Modi took a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for trying “to fool’’ people in the name of development and congratulated Mr. Raman Singh on his “unparalleled achievements to uplift the poor.’’

Raising the issue of Darbha killings, Ms. Gandhi pointed out that the Chief Minister himself had accepted “failure’’ to provide security to Congress leaders who were killed in the attack by Maoists. “But what have we gained from his crocodile tears… we lost our leaders, they would have been here today. So many people have been killed and they [BJP] only promised big things but delivered nothing,” she said.