Lucknow : Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party on the issue of terrorism, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday said the BJP-led government in the past had bowed before terrorists, but his party’s government refused to do so.
“During elections, sidelining the issues concerning the poor and downtrodden, BJP always talks about terrorism. But I would like to remind you that when there was a BJP(-led) government, it set free dreaded terrorists lodged in our jails,” Rahul Gandhi told a rally in Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh.
“When an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked by terrorists (in 1999), the BJP government allowed the plane to be taken to Kandahar and then sent a minister there where he begged the terrorists with folded hands, following which terrorists were freed.”
Unlike the BJP, the Congress would never bow before the terrorists, he said. “It is well evident from the pressure mounted by our prime minister (Manmohan Singh) on Pakistan after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai,” he added.
Turning to the achievements of the the UPA government, Rahul Gandhi said: “In the last five years, we implemented the rural employment guarantee bill. Through this programme we ensured that crores of poor people were guaranteed 100 days of employment.”
“The mid-day meal scheme was implemented in schools for the children from poor families. We ensured that children of poor people in all schools across the country were given food,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi accused Uttar Pradesh’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government of ignorning the programmes sponsored by the central government for the welfare of the poor and the downtrodden.
The Congress general secretary called upon the youths to exercise their franchise.
“If you have to change the way politics is done in Uttar Pradesh and the rest of the country, you have to come forward and bring about change. If you don’t come forward and take responsibility, the state, instead of moving forward, will slide backward. So do come out on the election day and vote for the Congress party,” he said.