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|November 16, 1998||
Vajpayee, Sonia trade charges
The star campaigners of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress waded into each other today as the campaign for the November 25 assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Mizoram began to gather steam.
Addressing an election meeting in the border town of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee charged the Congress with misleading the electorate on the issue of rising prices to get electoral mileage.
He dismissed charges that his government had failed to deal with the price situation and claimed the wrong policies and decisions of the former Congress governments had brought the country to the present situation.
Vajpayee said the Congress had no real issues for the assembly elections and was resorting to non-issues.
Referring to the onion crisis, the prime minister said unseasonal rains had damaged the crops, leading to a shortage, but now onion had been imported and prices had started falling.
But in Raipur, Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi described Vajpayee as a weak prime minister who was shifting the blame on to others to hide his own weakness.
About the prospects of the Congress in the elections, Gandhi said she was "very confident" of victory.
Regarding Madhya Pradesh, she said the prospects were "very good", but added, "Congress workers have to work hard to ensure victory."
Asked about the steps being taken to strengthen the party in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Gandhi said priority is being given to the assembly elections. "After the polls, we will consider the measures to be taken to strengthen the organisation," she said.
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