Mangalore (Karnataka): Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday attacked Bharatiya Janata Party for doing precious little to fight corruption and claimed that no party has fought this “cancer” like her party has.
She also questioned the BJP’s opposition to foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and asserted that it would benefit farmers.
Gandhi was addressing a Congress workers’ rally in this coastal town, about 350 km from Bangalore, on her brief visit to the state, her second in six months.
Likening corruption to “cancer which has spread in the society”, she said “no other party has done what Congress has to fight it”.
Gandhi lashed out at the BJP government in Karnataka for its “corruption” and said the party had only made “empty promises”.
She said people of Karnataka, where assembly polls are due May next, were ready for a change and the Congress party must unitedly work to recapture power.
Her stress on party unity comes against the backdrop of a continuing campaign by a section of Congress leaders to replace present state unit chief G. Parameshwara, a Dalit, with Shamanur Shivashankarappa, who belongs to influential Lingayat community.
There are also persistent reports of differences between Parameshwara and Leader of Opposition in the assembly Siddaramaiah.
Gandhi did not touch upon any recent controversy over her son-in-law Robert Vadra’s business dealings and alleged irregularities by a trust run by union Law Minister Salman Khurshid.
On FDI in multi-brand retail, she said the BJP wanted to allow it when it headed the National Democratic Alliance government but was “now opposing for the sake of opposing”.
She justified the recent hikes in petrol and diesel prices and cap on cooking gas cylinders sold at subsidized rates saying that rising prices of these commodities in international markets had left no option for the government.
Gandhi questioned why the BJP government in Karnataka and other states were not following some Congress state governments which had increased the subsidised cylinders supply cap from six to nine in a year.
After addressing the rally, she attended the centenary celebrations of the Kudroli Gokananatheshwara temple in Mangalore before returning to New Delhi.