VARANASI: Taking on the Narendra Modi government from the prime minister's turf, Congress President Sonia Gandhi tonight said it is a government of a "handful" of people and industrialists which pays special attention to their needs.
Gandhi, who led an impressive roadshow in Modi's parliamentary constituency to launch her party's campaign for the 2017 Assembly elections before it was cut short after she fell ill, also predicted that the government built on the "foundation of false assurances" could not last long.
"This is a government of a handful of people, a handful of industrialists and it pays special attention to their needs. No one bothers about the poor, backward, minorities and our beloved sisters. A large section of the country is feeling neglected and weak and apprehensive about its future," she said in a statement issued here.
"The palace built on false promises cannot last long, people will soon call it to account and would give a befitting response to their false promises," she added.
Making a veiled attack on Modi and other BJP leaders, Gandhi said she wanted to tell those who talk of 'Congresmukt Bharat' they do not have a clue of the strength of Congress.
"Congress is not only an institution of a group of people but is a thought which fills every part of India, every village and every city which cannot be destroyed. It is the thought which connects India. One cannot imagine the idea of modern India without the Congress," she said.
Observing that the Modi government has made too many promises to the people in the last two years, she wondered as to what change has been brought about.
"The poor and the weak are being targeted daily and our beloved sisters have to suffer the price spiral, farmers are facing all sorts of difficulties and the problem of unemployement has gone from bad to worse".
Gandhi also hailed the composite culture of India telling people that it is our duty to maintain it.
Turning to Uttar Pradesh, which goes to polls next year, she said the state needs a government which can work for development, uplift of poor and backwards and work for women and youth.
"The Congress alone can give such a government under the leadership of Shiela Dikshit and I believe that Congress government will work for women, youth, poor, backwards while maintaining law and order," Gandhi said.
Gandhi hoped that the coming Assembly polls would be held in a peaceful atmosphere and would see the defeat of forces dividing society in the name of caste and religion.
She said that the Congress will be fighting the elections in the state to end the plight of people in the last 27 years.
Noting that Uttar Pradesh has witnessed governments of all parties, Gandhi said, "These partes have done politics in the name of caste and religion and have done nothing else." She, however, did not take the name of either BJP or Samajwadi Party or BSP.
The Congress chief regretted that she could not complete her visit to Varanasi due to her illness but said she would come back soon for "darshan" of Kashi Vishwanath in this temple town.
"Due to illness, I could not complete my visit for which I regret. I could not seek the blessings of Kashi Vishwanth in the holy month of Savan. I will come back soon. I am thankful to all citizens of Varanasi and Congress workers for the love and affection", she said.