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Sonia attacks Mulayam on home turf
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Urai, Bundelkhand | April 04, 2007 18:25 IST
Congress President Sonia Gandhi accused the Uttar Pradesh government run by Mulayam Singh Yadav for bringing the state to disrepute and disgrace as the development of the state had almost come to a halt under his tenure.
"Bundelkhand played an important role in the history of India's independence as the first war of independence was fought from here. Today, this area has been completely neglected by all the governments in the last 17 years," said Sonia Gandhi.
Bundelkhand region consists of seven districts, Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun and Jhansi. "Our central government had sent lot of funds for the development of this region but none reach the poor and destitute. Under the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme lot of money was sent by our government but God alone knows who benefited from that money in UP," said Gandhi.
Gandhi spoke to a crowd of 20,000 for ten minutes -- who listened to her attentively in the sweltering heat.
In the last elections, Congress candidate Vinod Chaturvedi lost by 1,900 votes to BJP candidate Babu Ram.
"UP has been divided on caste and religion in the last 17 years ever since Congress government has been out of power," said Gandhi.
"In the last 17 years all other political parties are running coalition governments and there is no stability. Vote for the Congress, bring stability and prosperity to the state," she said.
On the law and order situation too Sonia said that common man in UP was no longer feeling safe because dacoity and kidnapping was the order of the day.
"The problem of the common man, the farmer is no longer heard. The development of UP has just stopped in the last 17 years. If you want to remedy this situation vote for a change," she added.
She also came down heavily on Mulayam Singh Yadav stating that he was only interested in developing his own constituency, without naming him and his constituency.
"The development of a state is measured by development of all constituencies and not just a single province. Uttar Pradesh needs self respect today and bring back that respect by voting for the Congress party," concluded Gandhi.
She then shook hands with different leaders and took off in her chopper for Etawah district, a stronghold of Mulayam Singh Yadav.