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Nitish regime has no time even to spend Central funds: Sonia

Shoumojit Banerjee

— Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Congress president Sonia Gandhi waves to the crowd during an election rally at Motihari in East Champaran district of Bihar on Monday.

Kishanganj/Motihari: Keeping up the onslaught on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the counts of secularism and underutilisation of Central funds, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said the NDA government was incapable of contributing to Bihar's progress.

Addressing election rallies ( Jan Sabhas) in Kishanganj and Motihari districts, she said Mr. Kumar's government “had no time” even to spend the crores sanctioned by the Centre for the State's development.

“It is clear that these parties [the Janata Dal-United and the Bharatiya Janata Party] lack any clear thought or vision for Bihar's progress, not to mention initiatives,” said Ms. Gandhi, flaying the government for the poor state of electricity supply and education in the Muslim-dominated Kishanganj.

“The Centre has provided huge funds to ensure the development of Kishanganj under welfare schemes for regions with a minority population, but a major part has yet to reach the people.” Rampant corruption hampered the execution of most of the schemes, Ms. Gandhi alleged.

The State government, despite its promise, also failed to provide land for setting up a branch of the Aligarh Muslim University in Kishanganj.

Ms. Gandhi accused Mr. Kumar of having a covert pact with anti-secular forces and said he chose to stay on as Union Minister even after the 2002 riots which devastated Gujarat.

The Congress president said her party “never compromised on its secularist ideals.”

On Sunday, Mr. Kumar and BJP leader Arun Jaitley fiercely countered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks on non-utilisation of Central funds in Bihar.

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