BJP wasted resources, vote for change: Sonia

NatSonia Gandhi at an election rally in Chikmagalur on Saturday. PTI

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday expressed hope of passing the Food Security Bill and the Land Rehabilitation Bill in the next session of Parliament. The party intends to keep its promise made in 2009 of bringing in Food Security Bill that will address issues such as malnutrition, and the Land Rehabilitation Bill to safeguard land holdings of the poor, Sonia said here on the first leg of her campaign for the May 5 polls to the Karnataka Assembly.

Sonia said that the BJP government in Karnataka had squandered the vast resources provided to it by the UPA government for development in the state. The BJP in Karnataka has failed to utilise schemes like the NREGA and funds for rural development and social welfare, she said. "The power situation is grim, so is the water situation and the law and order has collapsed,'' she said.

Sonia referred to the party's recent victory in the urban local bodies election saying that it signals that "people are looking for change'' away from the BJP in the region.

"Before you vote you must ask the question as to what happened. Why have those close to power become so rich at the expense of the poor,'' Sonia said. "The most immediate task is to restore the image of Karnataka damaged by those in power, to make Karnataka the pride of the country once again. At one time businesses looked to invest in Karnataka, now they are going away because of the way the government functions,'' she added. She said that what people want is simply a government that administers, looks after the interests of people, gives them dignity, empowers women and Dalits through employment and scholarships, provides reliable electricity, she said.

Touching on the issue of moral policing and communal disharmony, Sonia said "social harmony in the region has been destroyed by fundamentalists claiming to be custodians of culture'', who only had their own personal political end in mind.

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