Bharatiya Janata Party is 'fascist and corrupt'
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has launched an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), calling it fascist and corrupt.
"The [BJP-led] National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government broke all corruption records at the centre and shamelessly spread the ' India shining' campaign to misguide the people of the country. It eventually paid the price by losing power," she said.
"The NDA government also spread a malicious campaign against minorities and disturbed communal harmony," Gandhi said.
"The Congress party is not only unique in India but in the entire world for having such a long tradition of serving such a large chunk of humanity from the freedom struggle to nation-building over the decades.
"The tradition which helped the Congress under Mahatma Gandhi break the shackles of colonialism still inspires us today," she added.
The Congress president was given special permission to hold her public rally in the downtown Ridge ground in Shimla, a heritage zone, due to security reasons.
A large number of people had gathered on a clear but chilly day at the venue even though several link roads remained blocked due to snowfall this week.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi addressed a rally at Una town, some 220 kilometres from here.
Due to bad weather she had to cancel a couple of rallies earlier this week.
The second and last phase of polling for 65 assembly seats will take place on Wednesday. In the first phase, the three tribal seats of Bharmaur, Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur went to polls on November 14, due to the fear of early snowfall in the high mountain region.
The state has a population of around 6.3 million. According to Chief Electoral Officer Manisha Nanda, there are 4.4 million voters for the 65 seats in the second phase for which there are 324 candidates in the fray. ( Gulf )