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Gadkari’s Italy barb at Sonia

Bokaro/Ranchi, April 18: Nitin Gadkari had only one agenda at his election meeting in Bokaro steel city on Friday — Congress bashing.

The BJP leader, while addressing a 3,000-strong crowd at Sector IX grounds in favour of the party’s Dhanbad candidate P.N. Singh, chose to dwell more on the failures of the Congress and heap scorn on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi rather than speak about local issues or spell out his party’s development plans for the region.

Accusing the mother-son duo of not only destroying the Congress but also the country, Gadkari said both would be sent back to Italy if the BJP came to power at the Centre.

“Congress ka haat pocket maro ka saat (The Congress has joined hands with the pick-pockets),” said the former BJP national president in an allusion to the several scams that have taken placed in the regime of UPA-II.

He also listed out the scams — air scam (2G spectrum), earth scam (Commonwealth Games) and underground scam (Coalgate) — adding that the CAG report pegged the money siphoned off during UPA I and UPA II at Rs 4.85 lakh crores.

“Congress ka matlab hai bhrashtachar, ugravad, mehengai rashtrodrohi takaton ka udai, Naxalite samasya, parivarwad jatiwad, sampradyavad (The Congress is synonymous with corruption, rise of terrorism, price hike, anti-nationalism, rise of Naxalism, casteism and communalism). This grand old party is solely responsible for all what is going wrong in the country along with Sonia and Shehzada (Modi’s name for Rahul),” Gadkari said.

Further hitting out at “dynasty politics”, Gadkari said in the Congress, no leader can rise as its mandatory to take birth in the Nehru-Gandhi family first to head the party.

“But in the BJP, son of common people like a poster carrier boy (himself) and tea seller (the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi) have reached the top,” he said.

He went on to claim that whenever elections approached, the Congress began dividing the country on the lines of castes and religions.

“They (Congress leaders) try to impress on the Scheduled Caste, backward castes and Muslims that if BJP wins, they will be insecure. But the truth is that it was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who ensured that A.P.J. Abdul Kalam became the President of the country,” Gadkari said.

In his 45-minute speech, Gadkari also cast RJD chief Lalu Yadav and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the same dice, saying the two rivals were fanning casteism in Bihar and have done nothing for development.

“Once the BJP comes to power, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar will collapse. As it is, the political careers of Lalu and Nitish are doomed as they don’t have the support of all sections of the society,” he added.

Urging the voters to bring NDA back to power, Gadkari declared that prices of all goods, including essential commodities, would fall by at least 25 per cent or more if they were given a chance to run the country,

Later, addressing a news conference at the state BJP headquarters in Ranchi, Gadkari sought to assuage fears of Narendra Modi among minority communities and blamed the Congress for creating this sense of insecurity.

“Creating fear among Muslims is a part of the Congress’s strategy to stop Modi. The BJP is committed to socio-economic development of Muslims, unlike the Congress which kept Muslims economically and educationally backward all these years,” he said.