Sonia Gandhi shifts strategy against Narendra Modi, says BJP will 'destroy' Indian ethos

Written by PTI | Paota (Raj) | Updated: Apr 15 2014, 03:33am hrs
SoniaSonia Gandhi appealed to people to defeat "divisive and autocratic" forces which will "destroy" the Indian ethos
In the strongest-ever attack on BJP in the current campaign, Congress President Sonia Gandhi tonight appealed to people to defeat "divisive and autocratic" forces which will "destroy" the Indian ethos.

The appeal for support to Congress, in the form of a short televised speech, saw Gandhi launch an all-out attack on BJP saying its vision is "clouded with hatred and falsehood" and its ideology is "divisive and autocratic".

"Their vision, clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology - divisive and autocratic, will drive us to the ruination of our Bharatiyata and Hindustaniat," she said.

Gandhi said "we are fighting in this election for a future where power is not the preserve of a select few but exercised by the many".

"Today, our society stands at a crossroads. The Congress ideology and vision will continue to take us towards a healthy, free democracy, open to the life of change and transformation," Gandhi said in her appeal.

Congress is fighting one of its toughest battles after being in power for ten years that has brought in anti- incumbency, forcing the party to fight with its back to the wall.

Referring to the present political scenario, Gandhi said, "today our nation is standing on a 'do raha' (crossroads) that will take you to different direction.

"On one side, there is Congress believing in economic progress, work and thinks of poor, Dalit, labourers, and middle class.

"On the other hand there is a political party (BJP) that drives a man towards a route where individual's qualification and identity would not matter. And he would be known by his caste, religion or a particular group," she said.

Making an appeal for Congress' candidates in Lok Sabha polls, she said,"You have to take a decision to choose one path...I am sure you would not choose the wrong way.... choose Congress' path of development and progress of nation."

Among others who spoke at the occasion included Jaipur (rural) candidate and former Union minister CP Joshi and PCC president Sachin Pilot.

Slamming Modi for his "baseless criticism", Gandhi said "Without any hesitation I can say the position the country has achieved so far is because of Congress' 67 year of dedication, sacrifices, hard work and ideology.

"This progress and development is also due to our party's cadre who showed dedication, commitment, and emotions. But few people create sheer 'bhramjal' (illusions/false claims) and do not want to see India's progress and achievements.

"They just want to criticise us and make allegations on Congress and on us... and spread rumours," the Congress leader said.

Reminding of India's growth and other parameters in pre-Independence era, Gandhi said,"The average life span of a man was about 32 years then, and now it is 70 years. The agriculture production was 5 crore tonne, and now it is 25 cr tone annually.

"It was possible due to late Indira Gandhi's green revolution. Power generation was increased at least 150 times. Similarly there were about 1,000 km of permanent roads, now there are 50 lakh km of roads in the country," she said.

A few families or people had the privilege of having telephone connectivity then now 94 crore people are enjoying mobile or land line connectivity, she said.

"Only nine per cent of girls used to go to school, now this figure is over 65 per cent. Enormous educational institutions have come up in all states including IITs, medical, technical universities.

"At the time of Independence, about 2/3 rd of population was below poverty line, now it is reduced to justone fourth," she said.

Everyone, and the world, knows India has progressed and made development in all spheres tremendously, but rivals (BJP) do not want to see, Gandhi said.

Food Security act, Land Acquisition Act, one rank one pension, RTI and so many other rights were brought up by the UPA government, she further stressed.

"Congress' election manifesto has further stressed on the vocational training and job opportunities for lakhs of youths, if voted to power," in his over 12 minutes speech she said.

Congress would provide free medical facility to everyone, a roof top house to every poor,about 2,000 women police stations, 25 per cent jobs to women in police department, social security and pension to unorganised sector people and investment opportunities to small and medium industries, she said.