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Youth betrayed by NDA: Sonia

By Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI, MAY 8. The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, today gave a clarion call to the voters to unite and make the BJP-led NDA Government bite the dust.

Addressing an election meeting at the Ramlila grounds here, she said: "The foundations of the National Democratic Alliance are shaking. They are looking for new alliance partners as they already know that the people are going to reject them. I urge the people to show this corrupt and inefficient Vajpayee regime the door.

"I urge the people to vote for change in the last phase of polling on Monday. The Congress is surging ahead and is standing tall along with its allies in the current Lok Sabha polls. The NDA coalition should be confined to the dust and the Congress should be strengthened."

Ending her speech about 30 minutes before the official deadline of 5 p.m., she introduced the seven party candidates from Delhi to the gathering.

Taking a swipe at the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Ms. Gandhi cited recent instances when his memory had failed him. "He does not know what he is talking about — his party, the government or the candidates. One day he talks about coalitions being a big problem, the next day he says that nothing is better than a coalition. In fact, at one of the election meetings in Rajasthan, the Prime Minister even urged the people to change the Government at the Centre like they had done in the State during the Assembly polls."

Ms. Gandhi accused the Vajpayee Government of being non-accountable and setting new records in corruption and bribery. "They tried to create an artificial `feel good' factor but the ground realities are different. All that the NDA regime has promoted during its rule are unemployment, poverty, hunger, suicides by farmers and shutting down of industrial units."

Referring to Delhi, she said the law and order situation in the city had deteriorated in the recent months and women were not feeling safe. A new challenge faced the nation in the form of the emerging 18-to-35 years crowd. "The youth are the future of the country, but they have been betrayed by the NDA regime and the promised employment opportunities have not materialised," she said and ended her speech with the slogan: "Congress ko jitana hai, BJP ko harana hai aur desh ko bachana hai."

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