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In the strongest-ever attack on BJP in the current campaign, Congress President Sonia Gandhi tonight appealed to people to defeat "divisive and autocratic" forces which will "destroy" the Indian ethos.
The appeal for support to Congress, in the form of a short televised speech, saw Gandhi launch an all-out attack on BJP saying its vision is "clouded with hatred and falsehood" and its ideology is "divisive and autocratic".
"Their vision, clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology - divisive and autocratic, will drive us to the ruination of our Bharatiyata and Hindustaniat," she said.
Gandhi said "we are fighting in this election for a future where power is not the preserve of a select few but exercised by the many".
"Today, our society stands at a crossroads. The Congress ideology and vision will continue to take us towards a healthy, free democracy, open to the life of change and transformation," Gandhi said in her appeal.
Congress is fighting one of its toughest battles after being in power for ten years that has brought in anti- incumbency, forcing the party to fight with its back to the wall.
Referring to the present political scenario, Gandhi said, "today our nation is standing on a 'do raha' (crossroads) that will take you to different direction.
"On one side, there is Congress believing in economic progress, work and thinks of poor, Dalit, labourers, and middle class.
"On the other hand there is a political party (BJP) that drives a man towards a route where individual's qualification and identity would not matter. And he would be known by his caste, religion or a particular group," she said.
Making an appeal for Congress' candidates in Lok Sabha polls, she said,"You have to take a decision to choose one path...I am sure you would not choose the wrong way.... choose Congress' path of development and progress of nation."
Among others who spoke at the occasion included Jaipur (rural) candidate and former Union minister CP Joshi and PCC president Sachin Pilot.
Slamming Modi for his "baseless criticism", Gandhi said "Without any hesitation I can say the position the country has achieved so far is because of Congress' 67 year of dedication, sacrifices, hard work and ideology.
"This progress and development is also due to our party's cadre who showed dedication, commitment, and emotions. But few people create sheer 'bhramjal' (illusions/false claims) and do not want to see India's progress and achievements.
"They just want to criticise us and make allegations