Bellary (Karnataka), April 4 IANS | 9 months ago

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Friday mocked the BJP for accusing his party of being corrupt while embracing tainted leaders like former state chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was jailed on graft charges.

"BJP leaders roam around the country talking against corruption forgetting that Yeddyurappa and those who looted this mining town of its mineral wealth and went to jail," he said at a public rally here, about 330 km from Bangalore, to campaign for Congress candidates.

Referring to the BJP's doublespeak on corruption, Gandhi sarcastically said its leaders find no corruption in its ruling states like Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and till last year in Karnataka but accuse other parties and leaders of perpetuating it.

"You all know who was ruling Karnataka when BJP was in power in the state (2008-13). It was not Yeddyurappa but the Reddy brothers who turned Bellary into a republic within a state and plundered its natural resources for their own benefit," Rahul said in his 15-minute address, delivered extempore in Hindi.

Former BJP minister G. Janardhan Reddy is in jail since September 2011 and Yeddyurappa resigned in July 2011 for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore rupee mining scam in the state.

Appealing to the electorate to vote for his party's candidates across the state, especially in Bellary, a reserved constituency, where BJP won in 2009 general elections, Gandhi said it was the Congress under then prime minister Rajeev Gandhi and former state chief minister S.M. Krishna that Karnataka developed on all fronts, especially in the knowledge sector.

"Our party works for all sections of society, particularly the poor, backwards, minorities and Dalits who benefit from the social welfare schemes of the UPA government like the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Right to Education and Right to Food Security. Going forward, as our manifesto for this elections promises, we will ensure right to health and right to housing for the poor," he asserted.

Elections in 28 Lok Sabha seats across the state are April 17.

(Posted on 04-04-2014)

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