Congress president Sonia Gandhi may have avoided Maneka Gandhi’s
Lok Sabha constituency of Pilibhit as a quid pro quo after BJP general secretary and Maneka’s son Varun Gandhi declared that he would not campaign in Amethi and Raebareli - from where Rahul Gandhi and Sonia are contesting, respectively.
But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh isn’t party to this trade-off. On Saturday he blasted the BJP in Maneka’s constituency at an election rally.
“It is the biggest national issue....if India will have a government of a party which divides the society...will you vote for a such a party?” Manmohan Singh asked.
In a reference to the BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, Singh said the country could not be ‘ruled by one man’. He said the saffron party was fomenting ‘communalism’ in the country and appealed to the electorate to support the Congress to ensure development of the country.
In his speech, the prime minister listed the achievements of the UPA regime during its 10-year rule and said the country had not witnessed this kind of development ever.
However, he acknowledged that there were several areas where a lot needed to be done.
BJP leader Maneka Gandhi is contesting from here. She won in 2009 from the neighbouring Aonla Lok Sabha seat and had left the Pilibhit seat for her son Varun, who won by around three lakh votes. Varun has shifted to Sultanpur this time.