Battle of words on as rival Gandhi scions step up poll campaign

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Aligarh/ Pilibhit, May 1 (ANI): Rival scions of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty are campaigning across the country to woo voters for general elections.

Rahul Gandhi of the Congress Party and his cousin Varun Gandhi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made development their poll plank.

Addressing a pubic rally in Aligarh, Rahul Gandhi blamed the BJP for the 1999 hijacking of a national carrier flight to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

"During the time of elections, the BJP leaders talk about terrorism. They say that Congress Party does not fight terrorism. After Mumbai terror attacks, the Prime Minister put pressure on Pakistan and they for the first time accepted that perpetrators were from their soil. When the BJP was in power, the aircraft reached Kandahar. And Jaswant Singh had to concede defeat. And now they say that they don't remember what happened. We don't remember how minister went there," said Rahul.

Congress leaders have been accusing the BJP of being responsible for the release of three Kashmir separatist militants to save the 189 hostages of the Airbus A-300, which was hijacked by five armed men on the Christmas Eve in 1999.

Rahul also took a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for "mishandling" Central-allotted funds, and poked fun at the BSP's election symbol, which happens to be an elephant.

"We send money from Delhi. But there is an elephant sitting in Lucknow, which doesn't eat grass. It's a special elephant, it doesn't eat grass, and it eats your money. But we will talk about it later. We will push out that elephant in its third year. We will do that together," added Rahul.

Meanwhile, Varun Gandhi, addressed a public rally in Pilibhit parliamentary constituency, from where he is contesting.

"I have fought this fight for your respect. Everybody wants bread to eat, but everyone want respect as well. I am standing here for the safety of children, for your respect and for your dignity. I just want to say that even if I get beheaded, I don't care, but I won't put your dignity at stake," said Varun.

Varun ran into a controversy after he delivered a controversial speech during a public meeting in Pilibhit on March 7. (ANI)

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