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Sonia goes all out against Bihar CM.

Cong chief dares Nitish to show his development work

AFTER Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi, it was the turn of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to debunk the development claims of chief minister Nitish Kumar in the run- up to the sixphase assembly elections in Bihar.

Kicking off her election campaign in the state by addressing two rallies at Kishanganj and Motihari on Monday, Sonia sought to know the development work the Nitish Kumar government had taken up in the past five years.

" What initiatives did it take to set up industries in Bihar? What is the condition of power supply here? What has this government done to create job opportunities for the youth? What did it do for education and healthcare?" she said while calling upon the people to seek answers to these questions from the state government.

The UPA chairperson said the Centre had provided funds worth thousands of crores to the state government without any discrimination to ameliorate the lot of the poor, weaker sections, women and minorities.

" You should ask where all the money has gone?" she said.

Sonia said the UPA government had launched several projects for uplift of the weaker section but the state government did not implement them. " It does not have vision, aptitude or willpower for development," she said.

Sonia said it was a matter of regret that the people of Bihar had to go outside the state not only for education but also for treatment of small diseases.

She said the United Progressive Alliance ( UPA) government was committed to setting up a branch of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj and had cleared everything.

But those in power in Bihar were hand in glove against those opposed to secularism. " Everything is clear from the Centre but the state government has not given the land so far," she said.

She said different parties made different promises during the polls but the most important thing was how the party which got the mandate discharged its responsibilities. She said while sugar mills remained closed, the state government also failed to solve the problems of unemployment, electricity, roads, healthcare, etc. " We have also been hearing about rampant corruption in execution of welfare projects in Bihar," she said.

Hitting out at the Janata Dal- United for its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sonia said a particular party which considered itself to be secular did not allow some leaders to come to Bihar. " But it could not suppress the fact that it was aligned with those who are dead opposed to secularism," she said without naming Nitish and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Asking people to vote for the Congress, Sonia said the party had seen ups and downs over the years but never had it compromised on secularism.

She also targeted Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad without naming him.

She said the parties which have remained in power in Bihar for the past 20 years had done precious little for the welfare of the poor and the minorties. " They should explain what they have done for the minorities and the weaker sections of society when they were in power?" She said the Congress could bring Bihar back to the path of development by providing a secular government.

Sonia's attack on the Bihar government came only a day after chief minister Nitish rebutted the Prime Minister's charges that the state government had not properly utilised the central funds meant for welfare projects.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 19, 2010
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