Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over issues of governance in Karnataka, All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged her party men to work together to face the Assembly elections slated for next year.

Ms. Gandhi, who visited the drought-affected village of Nagasamudra in Chitradurga district and later attended the Guruvandana programme organised as part of the 105th birthday celebrations of Siddaganga Mutt pontiff Shivakumara Swamiji, told Congress leaders, gathered at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in Tumkur, to unite and revive the party fortunes.

Urging party leaders and workers to highlight the flagship programmes of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and mid-day meal scheme, she said the BJP was taking the credit for many of the programmes funded mostly by the Union government.

“People here [Karnataka] are looking for change, as they are disenchanted by the BJP for its divisive communal policies, corruption and double standards. Results of the recent Udupi Chikamagalur Lok Sabha bypoll reflect this desire for change.”

Earlier, during her visit to drought-hit Nagasamudra village, she enquired about the implementation of MGNREGS.

To her dismay, many villagers told her that the scheme was not being implemented properly. Villagers also complained about wages not being paid properly. She also accepted memorandums from villagers for drought relief.

At the Guruvandana in Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur, Ms. Gandhi spoke about the Right to Education, and said that the challenge was now to provide free education to children between 6 and 14 years.

She said education had provided unity in diversity in the country.

Senior ministers in the UPA government and party leaders accompanied her.

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