Melamara (Assam), April 1: Giving a call for a "jihad" against corruption, senior BJP leader L K Advani today said the menace has engulfed the UPA at the Centre and the Congress-ruled Assam.
"Corruption has become a deep-rooted problem which has engulfed the UPA-led government at the Centre. People should be ready for a 'jihad' (war) to root out corruption from all levels of the government," he said.
He was addressing an election rally in the tea-tribe dominated Melamara in the Golaghat Assembly constituency. Jihad, he said, was required to remove three afflictions -- black money in foreign banks, unprecedented price rise and corruption in the country.
At another rally at Balipara in the Rangapara seat in Sonitpur district, Advani said, "The price rise in the country is not due to economic mismanagement, but due to corruption and dishonesty of the Congress at the Centre and Assam.
"Our NDA is not in power at the Centre now. I can say with pride that the situation is much better in all states where we are in power," Advani claimed.
At the state level, sectors like health, education and employment were facing various problems, he said.
"These three sectors have been neglected particularly in remote areas," Advani said.
In a jibe at 74-year-old Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, he asked the people to tell him "to take rest after ruling the state for ten years ... no work has been done because those in power for long have become arrogant and insensitive."
Accusing the state government of being responsible for lack of development, he said the plight of rural youth has been neglected over the years.
Referring to the jubilation over India's victory against Pakistan in the cricket World Cup semi-final, he said,
"The same kind of celebration should be repeated if a corruption-free government with promise of good governance, comes to power in the state.
"Your vote is very valuable as you get the opportunity to exercise your franchise only once in every five years. I, therefore, urge you to cast your ballot cautiously to ensure that BJP comes to power," the veteran BJP leader said.
JD-U convenor Sharad Yadav, who also addressed the rallies, criticised the UPA government at the Centre for corruption and price-rise. PTI