BJP and Congress campaign in its crescendo
BJP and Congress addressing election rallies on Monday as Narendra Modi holds rally in Arunachal and Assam while Sonia Gandhi addresses rally in Mewat and Rahul Gandhi too addressed rally in Odisha and Chhattisgarh reached its crescendo with multiple verbal attacks each scoring point of nationalism, welfare for the people,taking dig onto each other past and other parties leaders too join in this historical electorate battle of one of the biggest democracy to exercise their voting rights,
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said this election is not just about development and her party is fighting for safeguarding the secular values enshrined in the Constitution.”This election is not only about the development of country. This election is to safeguard the constitutional framework which our freedom fighters, our forefathers have bestowed on us after much struggle and sufferings”.
“This Constitution recognises our secular values and teaches us how to respect them,” she said addressing a rally in Mewat, in a veiled attack on BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Gandhi went on to say that Congress will fight for a country which is not just for a few but a country which belongs to everyone and where everyone enjoys equal rights.
“We will fight for a country where it is not imporant what is our religion, language, place of birth or in which caste we were born, but we will fight for a country which is secular and where it is important that we all are Indian,” she said.
The UPA chairperson said no other government has undertaken as much developmental activities during the last 10 years as done by the Manmohan Singh government, including in the backward region of Mewat.
“You can see the changes which have taken place here (Mewat) if you compare the development with the previous government here, be it giving backward region status, providing drinking water facilities or developing a separate cadres for teachers and doctors,”, she said.
She said Congress manifesto also promises right to health for everyone, even as it has fulfilled its promises on rural job scheme, implementation of Right to Education and RTI, besides stringent law to stop violence against women.
The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Modi while addressing an election rally in Chariali in Assam said people of the country were unaware of the punishment meted out to the marines.
“Two Italian marines had killed innocent fishermen in Kerala but instead of being in jail in India, they were sent back to Italy. They were innocent fishermen fishing in Indian water”.
“I want to ask: who or what power sent them back to Italy and asking them not to be brought back. Should they (marines) not be in jail in India,” he asked.
He said it was only after the Supreme Court intervened and ordered that they be brought back, that the “powers were forced to ensure the return of the marines”.
The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate said, “The nation now wants to know the address of the jail where the marines have been lodged. Just because they are from Italy, they cannot be subjected to different treatment”.
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012, sparking diplomatic tensions between India and Italy.
The marines, deployed on the Italian-flagged oil tanker ‘MT Enrica Lexie’, had said they mistook the fishermen for pirates and were allowed to leave the country.
They are now staying in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi awaiting trial as India has insisted that the marines would be prosecuted under the anti-piracy law and face up to 10 years in prison as the victims were Indians on board an Indian fishing boat.
Accusing the BJD government in Odisha of hijacking the credit for the work done through the welfare programmes of UPA government, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today claimed the state is ruled by “mine mafia” and not by the people’s representatives.
“The state government is run by the mine mafia and not by leaders. Valuable minerals worth thousands of crore rupees are looted and state government is aware about it,” Gandhi alleged at a public meeting at Semiliguda in the tribal-dominated Koraput district.
“Though the Centre sends thousands of crores for the welfare of tribals, the amount is not reaching the beneficiaries at the village level. The state government is diverting central funds and taking credit without any justification,” he said.
While a handful of mafia loot mineral resources of Odisha and become rich, the poor and tribal people do not get any benefit, Gandhi said.
In contrast, the Centre has set up a large number of institutes, medical colleges and hospitals for the betterment of the people, he said.
Highlighting the Congress party’s concern for the poor and tribal people, Rahul Gandhi said his family had long-standing bond with the tribals and “I love to be in the midst of tribal people.”
Recalling that Rajiv Gandhi had also visited the area, Gandhi said he would continue to fight for the cause of tribals The Congress vice president claimed that it was he who stood by the agitating tribals of Kalahandi and saved Niyamgiri Hills.
Strongly opposing displacement of people for various projects without offering adequate compensation, Gandhi said Congress would strive for safeguarding the interests of the poor and underprivileged.
Hitting out at the state government, Rahul accused it of being insensitive towards the poor and said it was unfortunate that Food Security Act was not implemented in the state.
He also raised corruption issues like chit fund scam and alleged that the ruling BJD leaders were behind the ponzi companies which duped the poor and innocent investors in the state.