After PM & Rahul, Sonia snubs Nitish

Written by Political Bureau | Patna | Updated: Oct 20 2010, 02:26am hrs
After Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it was the turn of AICC president Sonia Gandhi on Monday to attack the Nitish Kumar government before the crucial first phase of polls in Kosi and Simanchal area on October 21.

With the Muslim vote crucial in this phase, Sonia attacked Nitishs secular credentials, saying the Congress alone is the secular party. She also asked why the state JD(U) government had failed to allot land for the proposed branch of Aligarh Muslim University at Kisanganj despite the Centre completing all the formalities.

Calling NDA leaders political opportunists, Sonia said: We lost elections but did not compromise with our ideology. But there are leaders (a hint at Nitish) who did not resign from the then NDA government at the Centre even in the face of the Gujarat riots.

Like Rahul and PM, Sonia also joined the war of words over funds, accusing the Bihar government of not utilising money given by the Centre.

Questioning Nitishs development plank, she said: Successive governments in Bihar in the past 20 years have lacked the vision for development. I want to know what the present government has achieved on the front of getting electricity and why the people of Bihar are still moving out for employment.

The AICC president reminded people of former Prime Ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi who, she said, had worked for strengthening basic infrastructure. The Congress government, she said, had offered right to schooling and focused programmmes for minority welfare. It is up to the people now to decide if they will vote for Congresss ideal policies or not, said Sonia.

Later, speaking at Motihari, where former RJD leader Akhilesh Singh, who recently joined the Congress, was also present, Sonia again attacked the Nitish government for tardy implementation of welfare schemes.