Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday warned the Opposition parties against “making fun” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asserted that the entire party stood by him.

She was addressing a party rally at the Visvesvaraya Stadium here organised to thank the people of Karnataka for giving the Congress a clear mandate in the Assembly polls and the recent Lok Sabha by-elections.

Ms. Gandhi asserted that the Congress was not afraid of the BJP or any other Opposition party.

“They ridicule our achievements, our Prime Minister and make fun of our party. But the whole party stands behind our Prime Minister. It was under his leadership that the UPA was able to take major decisions,” she said, citing the passage of the Land Acquisition and Food Security Bills.

“The BJP tried its best not to allow passage of these Bills. It was also spreading rumours that these Bills were against farmers. But farmers have always been at the centre of our policies. We will never forget them.

“No other government has lifted millions out of poverty like ours. The Opposition attacks the Congress but I want to ask them why did they not adopt these measures when they were in power. That was because they did not care for you. They cared only for power.

“Our party stands by the principles of inclusiveness and social justice inherited from Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The Congress stands for a developmental agenda. We bind people and the BJP divides them.

“The last time I was here, I requested you to give the Congress a chance. You placed your trust in us and gave us a clear mandate. I thank you for this,” she said.

Referring to the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha by-elections, Ms. Gandhi said: “The victory of D.K. Suresh and Ramya has reconfirmed the resolve of people to return to the Congress fold.” Earlier, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah warned the BJP and the Sangh parivar that his government would not tolerate any attempts to create communal disharmony in the State.

Pointing out that the BJP was projecting Narendra Modi as a “cult figure,” the Chief Minister said Mr. Modi’s dream of becoming Prime Minister would never be fulfilled. “We from Karnataka will not allow this to happen.”

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