Shimla: Former deputy prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani on Sunday said people of the country will not forgive the UPA government for the "massive corruption" during its tenure and will hand over a defeat to it in next polls. Addressing a poll rally in Una district of Himachal Pradesh, Advani said after the Bofors scam came to light, the voters did not spare the Rajiv Gandhi-led government which was enjoying support of more than 400 MPs, and claimed that the present government will also meet the same fete.
"People are eager for a change and it will start from Himachal and Gujarat where the BJP governments will return to power. UPA government will be defeated in the Lok Sabha polls which might be held in 2013 ahead of schedule," Advani said. He said at one side are BJP chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal, who are popularly known as "Paniwala" and "Sadakwala" CMs for their works in the fields of road and water infrastructure, and on the other side is Virbhadra Singh, who has nothing to his credit.
He also accused the HPCC president of tarnishing the image of the state due to his alleged involvement in corruption cases. Challenging Singh for a public debate with Dhumal, Advani said key issues must be debated in public as it happens in the USA, and in case Singh is not available, Leader of the Opposition Vidya Stokes should join the debate.
Advani accused the UPA government of step motherly treatment with BJP-ruled Himachal government, and said the 10-year industrial package from 2003 to 2013 given to the state by the NDA government was reduced till 2007 after the UPA government came to power. He claimed that the NDA government had adopted a tough stand on terrorism and sent general Parvez Musharraf empty handed when he refused to give firm commitment on not aiding and abetting terrorism in India.
Asking people to vote overwhelmingly to strengthen democracy, Advani said that it was a matter of concern that the voting percentage of illiterate and less educated people was more as compared to educated voters. He blamed "wrong policies and corruption" during UPA government's tenure for the steep rise in prices of essential commodities, Advani called for ousting of the Congress-led government at Centre to bring an end to this.
He said that the BJP was committed to the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya, and hoped that legal hurdles in this regard will be removed soon. On this occasion, Advani also made a strong pitch for simultaneous Assembly and Parliamentary elections as it happened in 1952, besides a clause for compulsory voting, and said these steps were necessary for strengthening democracy.