Indian Express

Sonia attacks BJP, AAP: One divides, while the other flees from governance

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UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi addresses during an election campaign rally in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI) UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi addresses during an election campaign rally in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI)

Addressing her first rally in the capital ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, attacking the BJP, on Sunday said this election was a contest between two conflicting ideologies. Taking a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party, she said running a government wasn’t “child’s play” and said some had “fled” when entrusted with the task.

“This election is a fight between ideologies. One which divides the society and, on the other hand, the Congress, which keeps it together. One which teaches fundamentalism, and the Congress, which treats everyone equally. One which creates fights between brothers, and the Congress, which has positive feelings even for its rivals,” Sonia said, in an oblique reference to the BJP.

This echoes the views articulated by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi recently, where he emphasised this is a battle between ideologies and not personalities.

Sonia’s rally, at the Ajmal Khan Park, is an attempt to regain some lost ground in Delhi after the party’s drubbing in the recent Assembly elections.

The Congress president said parties that “don’t accept India’s unity” and secular fabric can’t understand patriotism. “They can only mislead you to come to power in order to fulfil vested interests of a few,” she said to the crowd that had gathered to hear her in Karol Bagh, which falls in the New Delhi constituency.

Taking on the BJP but without mentioning its PM candidate Narendra Modi directly, Sonia said “some people are beating drums of patriotism”. “Patriotism, for parties like the BJP, may just be about speeches but whether they believe it or not, it runs in the Congress blood. We are proud of it,” she said.

In her short speech, Sonia recounted the “achievements” of the Congress-led UPA government, mentioning its welfare schemes and rights-based legislation. “If Parliament proceedings hadn’t been stalled, several other legislations could have also been passed,” she said, claiming her party had made “revolutionary changes” in policies.

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