TIME India

Sonia Gandhi to Indian Voters: Don’t Fall for ‘Divisive’ Politics

Gandhi Chief of India's ruling Congress party holds her party's election manifesto in New Delhi
Sonia Gandhi, leader of the governing Congress Party, holds her party's manifesto for the 2014 general elections. She said Congress was fighting for the "heart and soul" of India Adnan Abidi—Reuters

In an unusual move, Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi has slammed the opposition for being "clouded with hatred and falsehood." Her remarks come in the wake of polls suggesting that the BJP will win enough seats to form a government

As the second week of India’s elections got under way, Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi lashed out indirectly at the opposition, saying that it was driven by a “divisive and autocratic” ideology that threatened the future of India.

In a three-minute television address, the 67-year-old party leader did not name the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or its prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, but told voters that the incumbent Congress Party was fighting for the “heart and soul” of India during the elections.

The opposition’s vision was “clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology, divisive and autocratic, will drive us to … ruination,” she said, according to an English-language translation on Firstpost.com.

The BJP was quick to dismiss Gandhi’s message. “She wants to give power to the people but did not give power to the Prime Minister,” a BJP spokesperson told Reuters, referring to the oft-repeated allegation that Gandhi has been the controlling force behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in recent years.

Gandhi made the address as the latest opinion poll by news channel NDTV showed the BJP and its allies might pass the crucial mark of 272 seats in the ongoing parliamentary elections to win the majority needed in India’s lower house needed to form a government.

Elections began on April 7 and will take place in nine phases over the next several weeks, with poll results expected on May 16.

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