Bhubaneswar, April 18 (Inditop) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday asserted that her party “will never bow down before terrorism” and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was making terror a poll issue because it had nothing else to talk about.
The chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) said the opposition BJP had no issue to raise in its election campaign. “They are raising it (terrorism) because they don’t have any other issue,” Gandhi told an election rally in Angul town, about 160 km from here.
“Congress has always fought against terrorism. We do not need any advice from them (BJP),” said Gandhi, who was on a day-long whistlestop campaign tour in the state.
In her speech, delivered in chaste Hindi, she thundered: “Aatankwad ke samne hum kabhi na jhuke hain nah hi kabhi jhukenge (We have never bowed down before terrorism nor will do so ever).”
She said the UPA government had taken “several initiatives for the welfare of all sections of the people” in Orissa and accused the BJP and the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of hampering the development process.
“The development in the state had been hampered although the central government has done everything. The central government has sent thousands of crores of rupees to Orissa but the government here did not utilise them,” she said.
She described as “historic” the initiatives taken by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led government.
“The Congress initiated reservations for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, created strong public sector and nationalised the banks. It implemented the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to ensure jobs to villagers,” she said.
“The Congress has empowered women by providing reservation in the Panchayati Raj institutions, empowered youth by giving them voting rights,” she said.
Without naming any political party, Gandhi said some people were trying to divide and rule. They are yearning for the power on the basis of caste, community and religious divide and have no concern for common people, she said.
Gandhi addressed another election rally at Bhadrak town, some 140 km from here.
Eleven parliamentary and 77 assembly constituencies in Orissa will go to the polls in the second phase of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections April 23.
In the first phase Thursday 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly constituencies voted.