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Allegations of corruption against
Dhumal false: Venkaiah
Onkar Singh in Solan |
February 12, 2003 22:10 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party chief Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday lambasted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her party colleagues for making false allegations of corruption against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
In his 45-minute speech in Solan in southern Himachal Pradesh, Naidu regaled the audience with his attacking style laced with humour.
"Once I was passing by Akbar Road where the Congress has its headquarters. I saw a group of men and women dancing. I asked them what was the occasion? An election victory? They said: "Nahin. Aacha Hua, Priyankaji ko bachcha hua, aur Congress ko future leader mila," he said amidst laughter.
Ridiculing Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his Chattisgarh counterpart, Ajit Jogi, for staging dharnas instead of working on the problems of their people, he appealed to everyone present to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"People in other states say Himachal is adopted home of Vajpayee. Whenever he comes here, he gives the state something. Now he wants your vote. This particular election in Himachal is important for the simple reason that it would decide the course the country would take in the next few years," he said.
"We have reached out to people and given them various projects of development. Under the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Rojgar Yojana four national highways are going to be constructed in Himachal Pradesh. We have granted Rs 220 crore for rural roads too," he added.
In Solan, sitting MLA Dr Rajiv Bindal is pitted against Congress nominee Krishna Mohini. A former minister in the
Shanta Kumar government, Mohinder Sofat, is an independent candidate. Sofat has it in him to damage the prospects of BJP's official nominee.
Naidu attacked the Congress for siding with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Jammu and Kashmir and allowing him to release terrorists. "Instead of fighting the terrorists, they are assisting them," he said.
Naidu drove from Chandigarh in a cavalcade of cars. Since he reached Solan well ahead of the scheduled time of his arrival, organisers were taken by surprise. A quick interactive session with the local media was organised to give the organisers enough time to see that everything at the venue was ready before Naidu reached there.