Sonia rakes up reservation issue at Bhagalpur rally

RSTV Bureau

Kahalgaon : Congress President Sonia Gandhi with party’s Bihar chief Ashok Chaudhary during an election rally. PTI Photo

A day after PM Narendra Modi returned to campaigning in battleground Bihar, Congress President Sonia Gandhi took to the field to hold a rally in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district.

Addressing a rally in Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur, Sonia attacked the PM and the BJP on the issue of reservation.

Unlike PM Modi who said nothing about caste reservations in his rally in Banka, the Congress president chose to vocally express her support for caste based reservations. She said her party was committed to the reservation policy which was a constitutional right of the people.

Sonia raked up RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation, and without naming him or the RSS, alleged that BJP’s policies and notions were being dictated by the RSS.

“There is match fixing going on between Nagpur and BJP. But I want to tell you that Congress is committed to Constitutional provisions on SC, ST and OBC quotas.”

She called Narendra Modi’s term as PM more “harmful” than beneficial and raked up the issue of unemployment and budgetary cuts in social welfare schemes.

“You are all aware of the 15-months’ record of BJP’s policies that have adversely affected the country. Hasn’t unemployment increased, have budget cuts not been made on welfare schemes for women, are farmers getting fair price for their produce,” Sonia said.

“Except for a few corporates no one has benefited,” Sonia lashed out at the rally.

Sonia alleged that the Prime Minister was only an expert in packaging and repackaging.

“Modi is trying to mislead the people of Bihar. The package he announced is more farcical than real. What is the truth of this package? Prime Minister, an expert in packaging and repackaging, has simply rehashed old schemes of previous governments and presented them as a new package. What not he has said to belittle the people of Bihar,” Sonia said while urging the people of Bihar to choose secular forces rather than those who divide the country.

“Put all your strength to defeat such forces who want to divide society, make false promises and who have hurt Bihar’s pride,” she said.

“Bihar is at a crucial crossroad. From here will be determined the future of both Bihar and the country. You have to decide whether from here on the country will move towards divisiveness or harmony,” Sonia added.

Sonia described Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as an “able CM with a clean image” and urged people to vote for him. She alleged that PM Modi unfairly discriminated Opposition CMs.

“Modi is discriminating against opposition chief ministers and the states ruled by them. He talks of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’, but do people in these states not belong to the country?”

She also attacked the multiple foreign trips taken by PM Modi.

“Narendra Modi loves going abroad very frequently. He loves embracing famous people but he has no time for the poor. He should go abroad but should stop playing politics of pretension with the people who reposed faith in him,” Sonia taunted in Bhagalpur.

In her second rally in Wazirganj in Bihar, Sonia also accused the PM of “lowering” the dignity of his office by criticising his political opponents on foreign soil.

“No other Prime Minister has ever criticised and sullied the image of his political rivals on foreign soil. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done so, showing his narrow mindedness and low-level politics. When he does not bother about the dignity of Bihar or the nation, will he be concerned about your dignity,” said Sonia.

(With inputs from PTI)