Kapurthala: Lashing out at the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance in Punjab, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused it of failing to properly utilise the money given to the state by the Centre for the state's progress.  

Earlier in the day, inclement weather forced cancellation of Sonia’s rally at Moga.

Sonia also kick-started her party's election campaign from Kapurthala on Thursday.

In her 10-minute speech, she blamed the SAD-BJP government for its huge debts and said, “There were heavy industries in Punjab like Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala, Railway Workshop at Patiala during the tenure of Congress. No development has taken place in the state in the past five years. These parties forge alliance only to win elections."

Further, accusing the SAD-BJP alliance of adopting wrong policies, Sonia said, “Hospitals and schools are in a worse condition… industrialists are leaving the state. Such a situation is giving rise to unemployment and crime.”

She said, “The Centre gave Rs 5,000 crores to Punjab under the MNREGA scheme, but only Rs 526 crores was utilised by the SAD-BJP government in the state. The SAD-BJP completely failed to take advantage of the schemes sponsored by the Centre.”

She promised that if voted to power, the Congress would bring back the industrial units which have moved out of the state and would improve its economy.

AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad, Punjab Congress affair in-charge Gulchain Singh, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Captain Amarinder Singh, leader of opposition in Vidhan Sabha Rajinder Kaur Bhattal also shared the dais with Sonia Gandhi.

The rally was organised in support of Congress candidate Rana Gurjit Singh from Kapurthala constituency and Satnam Singh Kainth and Navtej Singh Chima from adjacent constituencies.

(JPN/Bureau)