10 feb : In a veiled attack on BJP for resurrecting its Ayodhya temple plank ahead of Lok Sabha poll, Congress President Sonia Gandhi asked the people to beware of people "who use God only to serve their own interests".
Without naming BJP or allied saffron outfits, Gandhi said "those who play with the faith and emotions of people by using religion only to capture power are not true believers. Such people use God only to serve their own interest."
She said growth-oriented economic policies of the UPA government has largely insulated India from global economic meltdown.
"Our government’s growth-oriented economic policies gave a fresh impetus to development and largely insulated India from the adverse impact of the global economic meltdown that is manifest in the economies of several major countries," she said addressing a gathering after inaugurating the construction of eastern dedicated freight corridor (DFC) at Dehri-on-Sone in Bihar on Tuesday.
The UPA chairperson said the DFC would give renewed thrust to trade and industry in the country and would be an effective tool for creating jobs for the local people.
Describing the Railways as the ‘engine of development’, Gandhi said "from wherever (Railways) it crosses, it opens the gates of development."
Claiming that the UPA government at the Centre had kept the promises it made in the common minimum programme, she referred to the enactment of the Right to Information Act ”which is a revolutionary step toward empowerment of the people.”
Congress, she said, stood by its promise of taking care of the common man and lowering of petroleum products prices reflected that commitment.
The waiver of farm loans of Rs 4,70,000 crore was also a step symbolising that commitment, she said.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad took a jibe at his bete noire and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
”Nitish is sitting in the lap of communal forces despite BJP president Rajnath Singh’s declaration that the party will construct Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. They have nothing to do with Ram.”
Communal forces would suffer ‘a resounding defeat’ in the coming Lok Sabha elections, he said.
Apparently trying to woo upper castes, Prasad, who is also RJD president, said "the poor among the upper castes too come under the ambit of social justice."
He accused Kumar of trying to create a rift among the Dalits by setting up a Mahadalit Commission.
The NDA government in Bihar had undertaken no schemes for the welfare of the minorities whereas the Centre’s UPA dispensation had implemented the Sachar committee report, he said.
He also slammed the Nitish Kumar government for ‘abysmally poor’ procurement of paddy thereby denying lucrative returns to farmers.