New Delhi: Describing the 'Swabhimaan Rally' as a 'failure', Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said that Congress President Sonia Gandhi praising former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's regime in the state was a 'cruel joke'.
"This was not a Swabhimaan Rally but an insult to Bihar. This rally was supposed to be for the entire Bihar, but the attendance was not even half of what was there in Modi ji's rally. JD (U) and Nitish Kumar could not organise a rally on their own so they went to Lalu Yadav and Sonia Gandhi and even then it was a failure," Prasad said at a press conference.
"It was a rally dominated by family politics, by politics of opportunism, by rampant corruption and also unbridled crime.... Sonia Gandhi praised Lalu Yadav's rule in Bihar, there cannot be a crueler joke than this. What does she have to say about his 'fodder scam'?" he added.
Prasad further said that Sonia had lied by saying that funds allocated to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) were reduced by the Centre.
"Sonia Gandhi had told another lie. She said that funds allocated to MNREGA have been reduced. Rs. 34, 000 crores were allocated, which is an increase in 12 percent. In the last budget session, Arun Jaitley ji had further allocated Rs. 5000 crores. Sonia Gandhi should be ashamed of this," he said.
During her address at the Swabhimaan Rally , the Congress President had said that Bihar had developed under the rule of Lalu Yadav.
Sonia further used the Rally to say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government had accomplished nothing except drama during the first quarter of their tenure.