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Sonia slams Nitish government

New Delhi: After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday attacked the Nitish Kumar government while addressing a political rally in Kishenganj in Bihar.

Kicking off her campaign in Bihar ahead of the Assembly polls, Sonia hit out at Nitish calling him an ‘opportunistic leader’.

Sonia’s remarks reiterated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s charge that Bihar was misusing central funds. “The Centre has provided crores and crores of rupees to the state under various centrally-sponsored schemes… but it is unfortunate that there are reports of corruption,” Gandhi told an election rally.

Sonia also targeted Bihar’s NDA government over its employment and education policies. Criticising the development claim of Nitish Kumar, she said, “We don’t know what happened to the funds the Centre provided to the state” and asked the people as to how many hours they received electricity and what happened to the money earmarked for education and health sectors.

“Students have to go outside the state for better education, opportunity and also for ensuring treatment of diseases,” she said.

Seeking to puncture the Nitish Kumar government’s development plank, Gandhi attacked the government for not giving land for establishment of a centre of Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj despite all clearances from the Centre.

“You have talked about Aligarh Muslim University. Everything is clear from the Centre but the government here is not giving land. It has not given the land so far,” she said.

Those who are in power here are “hand in glove with those dead against secularism”, she said addressing an election rally in the minority-dominated Kishanganj area of the state.

The Congress president maintained that the UPA government has not compromised over its secular policies. Claiming that only Congress can bring Bihar back to the path of development by providing a secular government, she regretted that the last twenty years saw several parties coming to power, which had “no vision for development”.

She urged people to vote for Congress and “bring a revolution of development” in the state.

Earlier, while addressing a rally in Bihar, Dr Manmohan Singh had charged that Nitish Kumar-led NDA government had failed to fully implement Centrally-sponsored schemes in Bihar but was taking credit for them.

This statement led to a war of words among the leaders of BJP and Congress.

On Sunday, Nitish had hit back at the Prime Minister while holding the Congress responsible for the ills plaguing the state.

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