M A I N   N E W S

Vote for new Bihar, says Sonia
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, October 15
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today urged the electorate of Bihar to vote decisively in favour of the RJD led Secular Democratic Front (SDF) in the coming Assembly polls to build a “Naya Bihar”.

While RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and the NCP chief Sharad Pawar shared the dias with Mrs Gandhi to address the first ever joint election rally of the SDF ahead of the first phase of polling on October 18,the another partner, the CPM did not attend the rally.

Virtually hijacking the “Naya Bihar “ slogan from the NDA, Mrs Gandhi assured the people that once the SDF was voted to power after the polls, it would implement the common minimum programmes like the UPA at the Centre.

Mrs Gandhi reminded the moderate crowd attending the rally at the Gandhi Maidan of the “National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill” which was brought and passed by the UPA. “Once the SDF captures power in Bihar, the Act would be implemented more effectively here”, she added.

With Mr Lalu Prasad sitting by her side, Mrs Gandhi referred to the “Right to Information” Bill passed in Parliament by pointing out that such a bill would now help to reduce corruption and other malpractices.

In her 20 minutes speech, Mrs Gandhi did not refer to either the dissolution of Bihar Assembly or the Supreme Court’s verdict.

Mrs Gandhi only said that had the people of Bihar voted wisely in the February polls, the elections could have been averted.

In his speech Mr Lalu Prasad spoke highly of Mrs Gandhi’s sacrifice of the post of Prime Minister.

Mr Lalu Prasad regretted that had there been the same kind of adjustment earlier between his party and the Congress, the UPA could form governments both in Jharkhand and Bihar.

Both Mrs Gandhi and Mr Lalu Prasad passed on the blame for the under-development of Bihar in the past 15 years to the alleged non-cooperation by the NDA during its rule at the Centre.

The NCP chief, Mr Sharad Pawar also praised Mrs Gandhi for her success in combatting the BJP to run a coalition government successfully at the Centre.

Later talking to the media the state CPM secretary, Mr Vijay Kant Thakur, said his party did not attend the joint rally because of differences on certain policy matters with the Congress and the RJD “We have seat sharing only with the RJD and the congress to prevent the NDA from capturing power in the state”, he added.


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