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Sonia lambasts Left Front
Nalhati/Salar (West Bengal), Apr 20 (IANS):
Published on 21 Apr. 2011 1:54 AM IST
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Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday delivered a strong message to dissidents, saying people should vote in favour of the consensus candidates put up by her party and ally Trinamool Congress in the state assembly polls.
Addressing election meetings in Nalhati in Birbhum and Salar in Murshidabad districts of West Bengal, she also lambasted the Left Front government for the “collapse” of law and order and accused it of committing atrocities on opposition workers.
She attacked the Left Front on the development plank, alleging it had led the state to the verge of ‘ruin’ and failed to utilise central funds meant for development.
Sonia Gandhi painted a grim picture of the state’s law and order situation, saying “atrocities are increasing. Common people do not feel safe. There is no law and order”.
Lashing out at the Left Front for “torturing” opposition activists, Sonia Gandhi said: “Our party workers have been victims of violence. What can be said about this government?”
Training her guns on the Left Front, she said, “There should not be politics on issues benefiting common people. On such issues, we should all work together.”
“The central government had sent thousands of crores of rupees for the benefit of the masses of Bengal,” Sonia Gandhi said at Nalhati, campaigning for Congress candidate Avijit Mukherjee, son of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Nalhati is over 225 km from Kolkata by rail.
“A lot of funds have been sent to the state government under various developmental policies. It is a matter of surprise and regret that the effect of this money and funds are seen nowhere in the state.
“So automatically questions are being raised about how and where this money has been used by the Left Front government. Who is responsible for the bad condition of the state?
“The Left Front is totally responsible for this bad condition. There is so much poverty and unemployment in this state.”
Sonia Gandhi praised Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for supporting the policies taken up by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
“Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee have always supported the policies of the UPA-2 government, taken up for the betterment of the country and people. Both Trinamool and Congress have vowed to fight together in the state to free it from the misrule of the Left Front,” said Gandhi.
At Salar, Gandhi pointed out that 14 districts in the state featured in the list of the country’s most backward.
Sonia Gandhi urged people to choose candidates nominated by the Congress-Trinamool alliance.
“We (Congress) have forged an alliance with the Trinamool to defeat the Left Front. While casting your valuable vote, please vote in favour of the alliance candidates to give a befitting reply to the Left Front and end its misrule,” Gandhi said, while sharing the dais with Murshidabad district Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Chowdhury has fielded four dissident Congress leaders as independents in seats yielded by the Congress to Trinamool.
This is Sonia Gandhi’s second round of campaigning in the state where the six-phased polls are being held April 18-May 10. Both Birbhum and Murshidabad will go to polls April 23.
Out of 22 seats in the two districts, Congress is contesting in 18. Trinamool is in the fray in four - Hariharpara, Bhagwangola, Jalangi and Sagardighi - but in each of them, they are up against an independent backed by Chowdhury, who is also campaigning for the dissidents.
However, Sonia Gandhi stopped short of criticising Chowdhury or the dissident candidates.

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