Shantipur/Salar/ Nalhati, Apr 20: Congress President Sonia Gandhi today took on the Left Front government alleging that it remained in power for 34 years banking on its sole claim that it was the messiah of the poor, while it was bankrupting the state by siphoning off central funds.
"Riding on the claim that they are sympathisers of the poor, the Left has been ruling the state for the last 34 years doing absolutely nothing for them and the backward people," Gandhi told an election meeting in Shantipur in Nadia district after hitting the campaign trail for the second time in West Bengal.
Gandhi, at another meeting at Salar in Murshidabad, alleged that West Bengal was "siphoning off funds the Centre has given to the state," for other purposes and so the state remained backward.
"In the last 34 years, crores of rupees have been given to West Bengal by the Centre for development, but the state remains backward. Where have central funds gone? The Left Front is responsible for this.
"I am sorry to say that during the 34-year rule of the Left Front, West Bengal's debt burden has grown to Rs two lakh crore and it has turned into a bankrupt state," she claimed.
Attacking the state government for worsening law and order, Gandhi alleged that the common people were feeling insecure in the state.
"This government has duped the people with hollow promises all these 34 years. Don't trust the Left Front any more and it should be taught a lesson this time," he said.
Gandhi, at the election meeting at Salar ignored the presence of party MP Adhir Chowdhury who is backing four rebel Congress candidates in the district, and urged the voters to support the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance candidates.
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is an MP from the district, in a clear message to Chowdhury, also called for ensuring the victory of all the 22 Congress candidates from there.
Earlier, Gandhi addressed another rally at Nalhati in Birbhum district in support of Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit, where she claimed that West Bengal had been taken on a road to destruction under Left rule and assured that the Congress-Trinamool alliance was determined to rid the state of "misrule".
The Congress chief alleged that the Left Front government was totally apathetic to the plight of the poor in the state where "no BPL card was given".
She alleged that the welfare of farmers had stopped being important in the eyes of the government and violence against women was on the rise.
Gandhi had also campaigned in north Bengal on April 15 where she had stressed that Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee was with the Congress and the alliance would strive to free the state from Left "misrule". PTI