Dehradun, Jan 23 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharti on Monday challenged Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh or United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to come forward and participate in a debate over under- utilization of development funds in poll-bound Uttarakhand.
Bharti claimed she was victim of this discrimination as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister when Manmohan Singh took office in 2004.
"They have claimed that funds have remained unutilized. I would like to debate this issue with either Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi, as I have been a victim of it. Why does it happen? Because they (the Congress -led UPA Government) put up question marks on our proposals, then they send it back for answers. When we sent it back with our answers, they put another question mark," she told the reporters here.
Bharti said former Prime Minister and BJP veteran Atal Bihar Vajpayee never discriminated between any state on party lines and Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh witnessed it when he was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
"Sonia Gandhi is a queen, then who would come for debate. I invite Digvijay Singh to come forward for a debate. He was chief minister and he knows that Atal Bihari Vajpayee never discriminated against him. I had co-operated with him in the development of the state," said Bharti.
"Everybody knows I had to suffer a lot when my government came to power and Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister. I would invite any leader for debate on this land of Uttarakhand," she added.
Bharti, who is contesting for the BJP from Uttar Pradesh's Charkari constituency, also alleged that the ruling Congress Party was jealous of non-Congress state governments.
"They (Congress) are envious of people, other than themselves, who are in power. They (Congress) are jealous of them and they are restless. They take recourse to 50 methods to take revenge. They passed the budget for coal and road when I threatened Manmohan Singh that I would hold a fast agitation in front of Prime Minister's (your) residence," she added.
The BJP leader further said the Congress Party was hand- in -glove with then Mulayam Singh Government of Uttar Pradesh, which killed activists who campaigned for the creation of Uttarakhand.
"The Congress Party was an ally of then Mulayam Singh Government of Uttar Pradesh which ordered the killing of activists, campaigning for creation of Uttarakhand. They were not in favour of the creation of Uttarakhand," added Bharti.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had earlier last week accused the BJP Government in Uttarakhand of 'failing' to utilize the huge central funds given to the state for development.
Dr. Singh, who addressed an election rally at Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar on Friday, highlighted the positive steps taken by the UPA Government to improve the economy and uplift the downtrodden.
Electioneering is in full swing in Punjab, Manipur and Uttarkhand for next week's assembly polls as political parties have intensified their campaign. (ANI)
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