Keeping up the tirade against the CPI(M) on his second visit to West Bengal, AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today accused it of "forgetting" the poor, the backward classes and minorities in the state.
"I am shocked. What kind of a communist government is this which forgets the poor, backward and minorities?" Gandhi asked at an election rally here, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attack on Left parties for their 'failure' to usher in development.
"This is my second visit to Bengal. When I first came here, I thought here is a government for the poor. But I was surprised to see that against eight lakh job cards, only 60 were given jobs (under the NREGS). While they were supposed to get 100 days work, they only got jobs for 17 days," he said.
The CPI(M), he said, had praised the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Delhi, but failed to implement it in West Bengal.
Turning to the BJP-led NDA, Gandhi claimed that its slogan 'India Shining' had failed to reach the poor. "They have divided the country in two, with one part shining and the other consisting of the poor."
"In Bangalore, they are attacking women. In Orissa, they are attacking Christians," he alleged.
Describing the Congress-led UPA government as pro-poor and for dalits, adivasis, and minorities, Gandhi said it had fulfilled the promises made when it came to power five years ago.
"The UPA has implemented the 100-days work scheme in all states. It had started mid-day meals in all primary schools in the country. Not only has it waived Rs 70,000 crore in farm loans, it has enabled access of farmers to bank loans. It has also passed the Adivasi Bill, restoring to them the right of land," he said.
Accusing the Left-initiated Third Front of bringing 'political uncertainty' in the country, West Bengal PCC president Pranab Mukherjee said over the past 52 years, the Left parties managed to increase their tally from about 20 seats to only 60 seats in Parliament.
"They are now dreaming of forming the government and even taking the Prime Minister's post. But a party needs at least 272 seats to form the government. Those who took 52 (years) to reach a tally of only 60 seats...You can imagine how long will it will take for them to muster 272 (seats)," he said.
Mukherjee said even if the Third Front managed to form the government, it would not last for more than two years. "This would mean an unnecessary expenditure of Rs 112 crore."
He said if the Congress came to power again, it would provide 25 kg of rice or wheat to BPL families at rupees three per kg.