Addressing her first election rally in Bihar, Sonia took on CM Nitish Kumar for “trying to project himself as the messiah of secularism to hide his government’s failures”. While she made no mention of alliance partner RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Sonia did take credit for making Sasaram candidate Meira Kumar the country’s first woman Lok Sabha speaker.
“Some BJP leaders have been talking big to cheat people. A state does not develop on its own strength but through an adequate push from the Centre. Be it Gujarat or Bihar, the Congress has contributed to its growth,” she said.
Without naming Modi, she said, “Some people are out only to usurp and keep democracy in their fist. They want people to say what they want to hear, show what they want to see. They only call those people patriots who follow their ideology, not the ones who follow the Ganga-Jamuni culture of the country. Such people cannot be trusted.”
Attacking Nitish, Sonia, during her 20-minute speech, said, “Some people keep changing their faces from time to time. A person who was with the BJP till recently has been trying to project himself as the messiah of secularism all of a sudden. He has been making baseless allegations against us to hide his mistakes.”
She said that though the Congress had been out of power for many years in Bihar, the Centre had continued to disburse adequate funds to the state. “It is up to you to decide if the funds were properly used or not,” she said.
In Bhopal, Sonia alleged that central funds for pro-poor schemes were being siphoned off, and land, forest and mining mafia were most influential in Madhya Pradesh.
She said BJP’s anti-corruption stand rings hollow in this BJP-ruled state as ministers and bureaucrats are part of the problem. Sonia cited the professional examination board scam to shore up her argument. “What right do they have to speak of corruption and level absurd allegations?” Sonia said in Sidhi. “Candidates become doctors by producing fake certificates here. Is this not corruption?”
She also said Madhya Pradesh reports the highest number of crimes against women and ranks first in malnutrition. Accusing the BJP of being hungry for power, she asked the crowd to choose between an ideology that divides and spreads hatred, and one that unites by promoting social harmony.