Sonia's Gulbarga meet: Congress kicks off poll campaign in K'taka
In her speech, Sonia asked people to be 'cautious' about the opposition parties' plans to gain power by any means. The BJP and other opposition parties have only one motive - to grab power from UPA, she alleged.
There is no need for the Congress to talk about corruption of opposition parties, as people had experienced it, especially during the BJP rule, she said.
She added that the Congress did not crave for power, but was concerned about the country and its people. "We are also concerned about the removal of poverty and bringing self-respect to the poor. We are concerned about fostering brotherhood and maintaining peace in society. Therefore, we are in a position to speed up development," she said.
Listing out the achievements of UPA government, she said the Congress was engaged in fighting corruption and therefore the party brought into force the Right to Information Act and Lokpal Act.
Hitting out at BJP in Karnataka
Sonia said because of the 'corrupt' previous BJP rule in the state, central schemes like MGNREGA did not reach the people. However, the present Congress government has been successful in implementing these schemes, she added.
The BJP-led NDA government had rejected the state's demand to give special status to Hyderabad-Karnataka region, but the UPA had fulfilled the long cherished demand by conferring special status through an amendment to the Constitution, she said. The special status for the region covers the districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal and Bellary and is expected to ensure speedy development of these backward areas.
"The Congress is concerned about the bright future of the people of Hyderabad-Karnataka. You remember Rahulji (Gandhi) had promised and as per constitutional provisions we gave special status to Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Bellary and Bidar districts in Hyderabad-Karnataka region," she said.
'BJP cultivating field of poison'
In her speech Sonia accused BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of cultivating 'fields of poison'by spreading communalism in the country. "This is an area which was the 'karmabhoomi' of Sufi saints and a symbol of composite culture of the country. I firmly believe that you will not allow those who sow the seeds of poison, who don't believe in secular credentials and who play the politics of instigating violence to succeed," the UPA Chairperson said.
Sonia's comment was slammed strongly by the BJP, with party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy saying that Congress will meet the same fate in 2014 as it got in 2007 in Gujarat after her 'maut ka saudagar' (merchant of death) remarks against Modi.
In an apparent reference to Modi, Sonia said, "Those who are busy beating their own drums continuously, I want to ask you whether they will do good to the nation. No, not at all. Their only aim is to capture power and to achieve it they will resort to all sorts of conspiracies. You have to wary of these people and understand their intentions."