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UP govt must account for central funds: Sonia
September 20, 2006 17:44 IST
Last Updated: September 20, 2006 17:50 IST
Preparing for 2007's Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday launched an unbridled attack against the Mulayam Singh Yadav government saying there was utter "chaos" in the state and asked for a full account of central funds sanctioned for its development.
Congress workers should launch a "jail bharo" (fill up jails) agitation against "jeb bharo" (the corrupt), she said referring to the Samajwadi Party-led government.
"There is chaos in the entire state. Criminals are ruling the roost with atrocities committed on Dalits while the powers that be line their pockets," she said addressing her second public meeting in Bareli since the launch of the Congress campaign in Kanpur on August 8.
There was no power, farmers and the youth were getting frustrated, factories were closing down and the present dispensation remained oblivious to the problems, she said.
Sonia said the state was being dubbed "Uttam Pradesh" (Good Pradesh), but it was more like "Ulta Pradesh" (Upside down Pradesh) and likened it with the fable of "Andher Nagari, Chaupat Raja..." (chaotic state, useless ruler).
The All India Congress Comittee chief said during the past two years, the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre provided thousands of crores of rupees to UP and asked the people to seek a full account from the state government on how it had been spent.
"Ye paisa kahan gaya? Iska sahi istemal hua? Iska hisab mangna jaroori hai (Where has the money gone? Was it properly utilised? It should be accounted for)," she said.
Sonia said this region had produced great patriots who fought the British, "but today the situation has changed and communalism is being encouraged".
She called upon the people to display the same zest they had against the British in "fighting against atrocities, injustice and misrule".
Striking an emotional chord with the crowd, she said the Gandhi-Nehru family had close relations with the region.
"The first prime minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru was incarcerated in Bareli Central jail during the freedom struggle," she said.
Referring to terrorism, Sonia said it was a crime against humanity and "we have to fight it together", but cautioned that no individual or community was targeted in the name of combating terrorism.
Sonia said the UPA government understood the problems faced by farmers and was doing everything possible to resolve them. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had the interest of the weaker sections uppermost on his agenda, she said.
Providing them with bank loans at cheaper interest rates was among several measures being initiated, she said and also spoke of Rozgar Guarantee Scheme, Rural Health Mission, Universal Education Scheme, Rural Electrification Scheme and Bharat Nirman programme.
She told Congress workers, "Our fight is for principles and to protect the interest of weaker sections of society."
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Salman Khurshid said only the Congress could ensure development of the state.
Congress Legislature Party leader in the Assembly Pramod Tewari and Congress leader Sanjay Singh also addressed the rally.