Sonia blows poll bugle in Mandya

Sonia blows poll bugle in Mandya

The Congress’ “thanksgiving” rally here on Monday, addressed by party President and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, seemed like an election rally.

On her first ever visit to the city and the first one to the state since the Assembly elections, Sonia launched a scathing attack on the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and extended her support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on shaky grounds following Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the proposed ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers.

She addressed a huge rally at Sir M Visvesvaraya stadium here, estimated to have been attended by over 1.5 lakh people from all over the state.

The rally was organised as a thanksgiving to the voters for bringing the party to power in the state. She also listed out the achievements of UPA I and II over the past decade and sought the people’s mandate for the third time, promising more pro-people programmes and progress of the nation.

Recalling her tour during Assembly polls, she thanked the people and said: “The people of Karnataka supported the party once again in Mandya and Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency by-elections.

The party looks forward to similar support in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”
Sonia lambasted the opposition party.  “We are not afraid of either the BJP or any other party. They are opposing all pro-people policies and programmes of the UPA government. However, people have seen how they were involved in scams and misrule, for which they were rejected,” she said.

Without referring to the UPA’s proposed ordinance to protect convicted politicians, she said: “The opposition parties should stop making fun of the Congress and the prime minister. The party stands behind the prime minister solidly.”

Surprisingly, the party supremo lauded former chief minister S M Krishna, hinting at a larger role for the veteran leader and Rajya Sabha MP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.  “Karnataka was put on fast track by Krishna. He made Bangalore appear prominently on the world map. Bangalore has suffered a lot due to wrong policies over the past one decade. We must work hard to regain its glory,” she said.

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