Sujay Mehdudia

“Congress is decisive and assertive about its candidate”

“NDA regime was a period of darkness”

“Only Congress can provide a secular government”

Hansi (Haryana): Hitting out at other parties for indulging in a “Main banuga pradhan mantra” (I will become the Prime Minister) chorus, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — who had proved his calibre during the last five years of the United Progressive Alliance government rule — was the best choice.

Addressing a public meeting near Hissar town in support of Congress candidate Jai Prakash, Ms. Gandhi, without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party, took a swipe at the saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani and other parties, stating that it had become a fashion to get people nominated as prime ministerial candidates.

“Everybody is busy planning and playing the ‘main banuga pradhan mantri’ game while the Congress is decisive and assertive” on the issue by projecting Dr. Singh as its prime ministerial candidate, she remarked.

Dark chapter

Taking a dig at the BJP slogan of ‘mazboot neta nirnayak sarkar’ (strong leader, decisive government), Ms. Gandhi said that during the six-year rule of the NDA government, they had done nothing to suggest they were either strong or decisive. Terming the period of the NDA rule a dark chapter for the common man and the poor, Ms. Gandhi said terrorists were released from jails and Parliament was attacked.

“The NDA regime was a period of darkness for the country, where there was no internal security and the government belied the expectations of the people,” she said.

Highlighting the UPA government’s achievements, particularly the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and waiver of farmers’ loan worth Rs.65,000 crore, she said the UPA government had fulfilled most of the promises made in 2004.

Politics of hate

Ms. Gandhi lashed out at the BJP for indulging in the ‘politics of hatred and division’ and urged the people to vote for the Congress.

Later, addressing another rally at Ambala Cantonment in favour of Kumari Selja, Ms. Gandhi said the Congress was the only party which could provide a secular government as communal and regional parties could not keep the country united.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rohtak MP Deepinder Singh Hooda and many ministerial colleagues of Mr. Hooda spoke on the occasion.