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Home > News > PTI

Choose between fear & harmony: Sonia

December 08, 2007 20:38 IST

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Coverage: Gujarat Elections 2007

Charging the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat with betraying the trust of people, Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] asked the voters in the state to choose between ideologies of 'fear and illusion' and 'communal harmony and development.'

"There are two ideologies before you. One stands for creating fear and illusion and the other for communal harmony and development. If you want communal harmony and development, then vote for the Congress," she said, addressing a rally at tribal-dominated Mandvi in Surat district ahead of the first phase of polling on December 11.

The Congress believes in taking everybody along, in the philosophy of bhaichara and sadbhavna (brotherhood and communal harmony). Though the BJP likes to talk about development, it has no concern either for the farmers or tribals, Sonia noted.

"There are backlog in vacancies in government jobs for SC/STs. The state government has closed down the forest cooperatives," she said, adding the BJP makes lots of promises and announcements which later turn out to be just hollow.

On BJP's criticism that during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, many poor have become ineligible to get concessions marked for the people below poverty line, the ruling coalition's Chairperson said it was during the National Democratic Alliance regime that the BPL policy was reviewed.

"Most of the development in Gujarat was due to the policies of the previous Congress governments and the hard work by the people of the state," she said, adding, "You should ask the BJP Government to account for the money it received from the Centre for development works."

The Congress chief said there is an 'atmosphere of violence and pain' in the BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Law and order situation has deteriorated and crime rate has increased sharply, she said, adding atrocities on adivasis had risen and women and even children are not safe in Gujarat.

Gujarat government has adopted a policy of discrimination in protecting the people, Sonia said, adding that the UPA coalition has given crores of rupees to Gujarat but the money has not reached the beneficiaries.

"This is not our failure but that of the BJP government," she said.

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