Barmer (Rajasthan): UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday stepped up attack on BJP and dared the main opposition party for a debate on issues over which they have been stalling Parliament proceedings, saying a discussion would separate "fact" from "fiction".

Gandhi, who was here to inaugurate a drinking waterproject, said the country is facing several serious challenges that demanded people rise above party lines.

In an apparent reference to the BJP, Gandhi said some people were politicising every issue to stall Parliament.

"Today, we face several serious challenges like the slowing down of global economy, which to a limited extent has affected us. Apart from this, we are faced by inflation, drought, floods, social tensions which are other problems," Gandhi said in her speech.

"To deal with all these problems, we today need to rise above party lines to support each other. But sadly, some people by politicising every issue are busy in stalling the proceedings of Parliament," she added.

In her speech, Gandhi questioned the BJP's tactic of not allowing Parliament function after the CAG report on coal block allocations was tabled in the House.

She asked whether stalling Parliament would help the country in any way. "Do we want to destroy this democratic system, which our ancestors, our freedom fighters after sacrificing their lives have gifted to us? Will this help the country?" she asked.

"The solutions to the problems and the issues that are facing us today can only be found through discussion in Parliament. If someone thinks that either everything will happen according to their wishes or nothing will happen – then this cannot happen in a democracy," she said.

The Congress president questioned why the BJP was avoiding its repeated calls for a debate on the issue of coal block allocations and said she believed that a discussion would bring facts out in the open.

"...the repeated invitations of the UPA government for debate, why is it that these people avoid it? I request everyone that keeping in mind the glory of democracy and Parliament, they should participate in the proceedings," she said.

"Mujhe poora vishwas hai, iss se doodh ka doodh, aur paani ka paani ho jayega. (I have complete faith that through discussion, the fact will be separated from fiction)," Gandhi said.

The Congress President was in Barmer to inaugurate the 'Barmer Lift Drinking Water project'.

She was accompanied by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Union Minister C P Joshi and other senior Congress leaders.

Addressing people of the area, Gandhi said, "one of the long-standing problems of the area would be solved (once the water project starts functioning).

She said the water of the Indira Gandhi Main Canal had now reached Barmer and termed it as a "historic" occasion.

The project had been started by the Congress government in 2002 but had been ignored when the BJP had come to power in Rajasthan, Gandhi said, adding that the project had now been inaugurated during the tenure of Congress government.

Noting that the country's largest oil deposits had been found in Barmer, she hoped this find would provide impetus to development in the area and open up more employment avenues.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said water from Himalayas would reach the parched land in Barmer with the establishment of this project.

Referring to the recent anti-corruption protests, he said that steps to check graft have always been on Congress' agenda.

Some people were trying to mislead the people by hijacking it, Gehlot said.

"In Mumbai, Rajiv Gandhi had made this call. In Burari session of the Congress party, you (Sonia) had spoke about the need to eliminate corruption. This is our own agenda - how can corruption be eliminated from the country," he said.

"It is Rajiv Gandhi's agenda, it is Sonia Gandhi's agenda. it has been hijacked by others who are misleading people. We have to be careful of such people," Gehlot added.


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