Without naming either Narendra Modi or the BJP in her telecast, Gandhi said, "We want unity. They want to impose uniformity. They say, 'Just believe in me'".

Observing that Love and Respect, Harmony and Brotherhood--in a word, Non-violence--are the very heart and soul of our motherland, Gandhi said, "It is this, the very heart and soul of India, that we are fighting to protect in this election, from those who seek to change it, and to divide us."

The appeal for support to Congress saw Gandhi launch an all-out attack on BJP saying its vision is "clouded with hatred and falsehood" and its ideology is "divisive and autocratic".

"Their vision, clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology - divisive and autocratic, will drive us to the ruination of our Bharatiyata and Hindustaniat," she said.

Gandhi said, "We are fighting in this election for a future where power is not the preserve of a select few but exercised by the many."

"Today, our society stands at a crossroads. The Congress ideology and vision will continue to take us towards a healthy, free democracy, open to the life of change and transformation," Gandhi said in her appeal.

Congress is fighting one of its toughest battles after being in power for ten years that has brought in anti-incumbency, forcing the party to fight with its back to the wall.

Gandhi's appeal in the form of a short televised speech in multiple channels was made both in Hindi and English.

It was said to be telecast as an advertisement by the TV channels.

Gandhi appealed to each voter to think from their heart and decide what direction, what path they want the country to take.

She said that living with feelings for each other across religions, castes, communities, regions, languages, is what makes India a strong nation.

"These have been the bedrock of our progress. These are the essence of our Bharatiyata, our Hindustaniyat," she added.

Unlike BJP's strategy, Gandhi said the Congress approach was, "Believe in our intentions, in our achievements: a high rate of growth, inclusive development, strong democratic institutions."

"Today, our society stands at a cross-roads. The Congress ideology and vision, will continue to take us towards a healthy, free democracy open to the light of change and transformation," she added.

She began her appeal speaking of what made her proud to be Indian, "as each of you is a proud Indian’.

"Our India is founded on certain core beliefs and values. It is these basic beliefs that have united all of us, diverse people, into one nation. I learnt these from you, as you made me one of your own," the Congress president said in an apparent reference to her Italian origin.

At the outset, Sonia said, "Today I want to share with you what is in my heart, what makes me proud to be Indian, as each of you is a proud Indian."

Living with the feelings of love and respect, harmony and brotherhood for each other across religions, castes, communities, regions and languages, is what makes India one strong nation, she said.

(Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk