Stalwarts campaign in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh

Jabalpur/Vidisha (M.P.), Nov 22: Congress Party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.

All the 230 Assembly constituencies of the state will vote on November 27.

Addressing a public rally, Gandhi questioned the state''s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government about utilization of the funds allocated by the Central government.

"Nobody knows where the funds allocated by the Central government to the State Government for development in the state have vanished," said Gandhi.

The election in Madhya Pradesh is a key test for the Congress party, which is fighting the state''s ruling BJP in the polls.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, five other states - Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, New Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir- will have elections in November-December.

These month-long state elections are a precursor to the general election in early 2009 that will pit the ruling Congress-led coalition against the BJP.

Meanwhile, addressing a rally in Vidisha, senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani questioned Anti-Terrorism Squad over September 29 Malegaon blasts, in which 10 people including Sadhvi Pragya Singh and an Indian army officer have been arrested.

Advani said that Singh was kept in illegal detention for 16 days, without a woman constable.

"Without arresting her (Pragya Singh, an accused in the September 29 Malegaon blasts), she was kept in illegal detention for 16 days. The woman, who had become sadhvi was tortured in illegal detention. Her pupil was asked to beat her, and on refusal he was tortured. All these things are being said in the affidavit. Not only this, during the illegal detention, there was no woman constable with her, which is contrary to Indian laws," said Advani.

Last week police arrested Dayanand Pandey with conspiring in the attack on Muslim-dominated Malegaon, which killed four people.

For years, bombings in India have mostly been blamed on Islamists seeking to incite hatred between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Muslim leaders have accused authorities of conducting a witch hunt and reinforcing stereotypes about their community after dozens of Muslims were detained following a string of bomb attacks across the country this year. (ANI)