MANGALORE (TIP): An aggressive Sonia Gandhi on October 18 took the fight to the BJP in its stronghold of coastal Karnataka. She launched a frontal attack on the saffron party for opposing the ruling UPA’s policies, and for dividing the coastal districts on communal lines. The Congress president devoted a better part of her 18-minute address to attacking the BJP. Explaining why UPA 2 increased the price of diesel and capped subsidized LPG cylinders to six per annum, Sonia said: “It’s imperative for the Union government to manage its finances prudently while ensuring that the flagship poverty-alleviation programmes are protected and sustained.”
She questioned the reluctance of BJP-ruled states to emulate the decision of Congress governments in states to raise the cap to nine. “It is as much your responsibility as it is ours to alleviate the problems of the common man,” she said wondering why the BJP government in Karnataka has not lowered VAT on motor fuels. Pointing out that the BJP, which is opposing foreign investment in multibrand retail, had proposed it when in power, the UPA chairperson said: “The BJP does not care for farmers.” The main beneficiary of FDI will be the consumer, who will pay less, she said. Farmers will get direct links to the market, without middlemen.
Sonia said: “It is the Congress which empowered people to take it head on by bringing in RTI.” Asking the BJP to look at the track record of its state governments on corruption , she reminded the main opposition how it did not allow the Lokpal bill to be passed in the Rajya Sabha.