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Sonia hits out at BJP's security plan

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GOING TO THE PEOPLE: Congress president Sonia Gandhi greets people after addressing an election rally in Varanasi on Monday.
GOING TO THE PEOPLE: Congress president Sonia Gandhi greets people after addressing an election rally in Varanasi on Monday.

Attacks on Akshardham temple and Parliament had taken place during NDA: Congress chief

Allahabad: As campaign for the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls reached a crescendo, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday hit out at BJP's pet poll plank of national security and asked people to vote her party back power to help the State develop.

Reacting to BJP's repeated charge that the UPA Government was being soft on issues of national security, Ms. Gandhi pointed out that terror attacks on Akshardham temple in Gujarat and Parliament had taken place during NDA rule when the BJP-led Government also handed over three dreaded militants to Afghanistan to resolve the Kandahar plane hijack crisis.

Her remarks came at a rally here her first in the city as also at another rally earlier in Varanasi. Accusing successive non-Congress governments in Uttar Pradesh of bringing development to a standstill in the State, Ms. Gandhi appealed to the people to vote for the Congress and help Uttar Pradesh "keep pace with rest of the country."

She alleged that during the last 18 years, when the Congress had remained out of power, forces seeking to divide society along the lines of caste and religion had gained ground in Uttar Pradesh which was responsible for the State's "all-round decay."

``Unlike parties like BJP which seem to have no agenda except criticising political opponents and coming up with all sorts of excuses for their own failings, the Congress has led a coalition against all odds and achieved in a short period of three years what many other parties could not do in decades'', Ms. Gandhi said. ``Under the able leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, our government has framed policies which have not only accelerated economic development but also taken special care of weaker sections, Dalits, farmers and women. The party will do the same in U.P. if given a chance'', she added.

She alleged that not a single development project had been initiated ever since Congress lost power in UP.


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