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In Karnataka, Sonia Gandhi targets BJP over corruption

October 18, 2012 19:05 IST

A combative Sonia Gandhi on Thursday sought to deflect attacks on the Congress over corruption by accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of running corrupt governments in several states, affirming that her party has done more to fight this "cancer" than others.

"We all know corruption is a disease, a cancer. Who does it affect the most, it is the poor. No other party has done what the United Progressive Alliance has done to fight corruption. We brought the RTI because we genuinely want to fight corruption," she said addressing a public meeting in Mangalore, Karnataka.

Pepping up the Congress cadres for the next year's assembly elections, Gandhi accused the BJP of "just pretending" to fight corruption and said it was running corrupt governments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

"This is the real question you must ask. These are the answers you must get," she said, adding the people of Karnataka are "disenchanted with the corrupt government" in the state.

Talking about the party's seriousness in fighting corruption, the Congress president said, "no other party has done more to fight corruption than the Congress and UPA.

"We brought RTI legislation, not the BJP, not the National Democratic Alliance. It is through the RTI that these scandals are coming out."

Gandhi said the UPA government wanted to pass the Lokpal Bill in Parliament but the BJP had obstructed it.

"We got it passed in the Lok Sabha. Who stopped it in the Rajya Sabha? It was BJP," she said and asked, "do they want to fight corruption?"

She also accused the BJP of dividing societies on communal lines and said the Congress should fight these "communal" forces.

"We have to see the forces of communalism are defeated... We must stand up and fight these forces. We must fight communalism regardless of where it originates from," Gandhi said referring to the secular traditions upheld in Mangalore city for ages.

She expressed confidence that people of Karnataka will deliver the answers in the coming elections. However, she cautioned the Congress cadres against complacence and wanted them to work unitedly against the BJP.

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