Attacking the BJP’s claim that it would help develop Jharkhand if voted to power, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Sunday at Gumla town that it was the BJP that had ruled the state the longest.
The BJP’s four governments stayed in power for a total of 2982 of the 5116 days since Jharkhand’s formation. Of the rest, 621 days were taken up by three instances of President’s Rule.
“I have to ask the BJP leaders as to who is responsible for this situation,” said Gandhi, describing the poor development of Jharkhand. “The BJP has ruled this state the longest,” she added.
Criticising the Jan Dhan Abhiyan by pointing out that 35 crore bank accounts were opened during the Congress regime, the Congress President also claimed that the Union government had nothing new. “They have merely renamed Congress programmes and are using them,” she said.
Gandhi was taking off from where son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi left off yesterday. In his speech at Panki’s Palamu, VP Gandhi had claimed that the Narendra Modi government was formed with the help of industrialists and that it would roll back the rights given by the UPA government.
The Congress President said that the UPA government had tried to give the people of Jharkhand a number of useful schemes like the MNREGA and rural electrification programme, but BJP governments did not let them reach the people: “We take all people along… For us, development does not mean solely the growth of the people in the cities.”
She claimed only the Congress stays with the people: “We have always fought for the people. The BJP government will roll back whatever our government did and attack your rights.”
Continuing her attack on BJP government’s in the state, Gandhi said they had let the Maoists grow unchecked. “Now, the whole state is under the influence of left wing extremists,” she said.
The Congress President’s Gumla speech — she had been to Daltonganj already — was one of the last major campaign events of the first phase as campaigning ended at 3 PM. The state’s five-phased poll will open on November 25, when 13 constituencies will vote.