India’s Congress party holds massive rally



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Monday 5 November 2012

Last update 5 November 2012 5:55 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW DELHI: The leaders of India’s ruling Congress party addressed a rare gathering of hundreds of thousands of supporters yesterday, attempting to reclaim lost political ground after being battered by a series of corruption scandals.
The rally comes as a two key Indian states head to the polls and as the party begins preparations for national elections to be held in 2014.
Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Congress party, defended a series of politically unpopular economic reform measures launched by the government over the last few months. These include opening India’s retail sector to foreign investment and cutting fuel subsidies.
In her fiery speech, Gandhi also addressed the corruption allegations her party and its allies have faced over the last two years.
“I admit, corruption is a cancer, it is a disease,” she said. “We will continue to fight this disease.” Several government ministers are facing corruption charges stemming from scandals over the hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the sale of cellphone spectrum and allocation of coal fields that auditors said lost the country of billions of dollars.
More recently, anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that Gandhi’s businessman son-in-law Robert Vadra made millions of rupees off of shady real estate deals and a senior minister embezzled millions of rupees meant for a charity that helps the disabled. None of Kejriwal’s allegations have led to charges or been independently verified, but they have added to the government’s graft woes.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has used the corruption scandals to score political points but yesterday Gandhi hit back.
“Those who dig a pit for others to fall should know that a well is waiting for them to fall into,” she said, without naming the BJP directly.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari is also battling a slew of graft allegations from Kejriwal’s group.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi’s son and Congress star campaigner Rahul Gandhi also addressed the rally and defended the party’s recent economic reforms.
Singh said India’s stuttering economic growth could not be boosted without reforms and those opposing them were “misleading the people.” Rahul, a scion of the politically powerful Nehru-Gandhi family, is the son and grandson of two prime ministers. He is presumed to be a prime minister-in-waiting, but so far has held no government positions. His public appearances are rare and carefully chosen.
The political gathering came as the northern state of Himachal Pradesh began voting Sunday. Campaigning is also in full swing in Gujarat in western India where elections will take place in December.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Jeddah police have closed all entry points into Makkah to prevent undocumented pilgrims from entering the holy city during this year’s Haj, in a bid to prevent overcrowding that could lead to health and safety problems.Officials have taken ac...
JEDDAH: The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution recently charged three young men in the harassment case at the Jeddah corniche. A number of young men were arrested for harassing two Saudi girls at the corniche a day after Eid Al-Fitr.A vi...
JEDDAH: A total of 232 people injured in Sunday’s Aramco compound fire in Alkhobar have been discharged from hospitals here, the Eastern Province Health Department announced on Tuesday.Fifty-seven are still receiving treatment at four hospitals, with...
RIYADH: The Directorate of Education in Riyadh is keeping a close watch on schools, such as sanctioning health material and monitoring the health of staff and students, to prevent the spread of the MERS coronavirus among students. As a step in this...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has announced new legislation for the Dec. 12 elections, including fines and imprisonment for failure to disclose candidate financing, obstructing procedures or officials, and fraudulent activity.Vi...
JEDDAH: The low turnout of Saudis registering for the municipal elections is likely caused by the poor performance of previous councils, lack of a voting culture, inadequate understanding of the duties of councils, and the timing of the elections wit...

Stay Connected

Facebook