Sunday, March 1, 2009

Uchana (Jind), March 1
Informally kicking off the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana today, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said it was the diplomatic pressure built up by the UPA government which forced Pakistan to admit the use of its soil for launching terror attack on Mumbai in November last.

It was clear from her assertion that if the BJP-led NDA tried to take “the UPA is soft on terror” line in the run up to the elections, the Congress would retaliate by highlighting the success of the Manmohan Singh government in putting Pakistan on the back foot on the Mumbai attacks unlike the times of the Kandhar episode and the attack on Parliament when despite the massive mobilisation of the Indian Army by the then NDA government, Pakistan had not blinked.

Speaking at a public rally after dedicating Rajiv Gandhi Mahavidyalaya set up by the efforts of Haryana Finance Minister Birender Singh here, Sonia said India would give a suitable reply to any such misadventure in future.

Asserting that the country was strong enough to give a befitting reply to the disruptive forces, she urged the people, particularly the youth, to be united to spurn off any move aimed at promoting communal forces. Recalling the efforts made during the tenure of her husband as Prime Minister, she said it was he who brought a revolution in the IT sector of the country, which changed the future of many.

Complimenting Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his colleagues for implementation of several welfare programmes in the state, Sonia, who attended a series of functions in the state today, said the UPA government had sanctioned two major projects, a defence university in Mahendragarh district and an AIIMS campus in Jhajjar district in the past few days. She also referred to the significant role played by commandos, hailing from Haryana, in giving a befitting reply to the terrorists in the Mumbai attacks.

Sonia said Indian economy was strong enough to bear the shock of the recent global recession and it would not be affected much.

In the afternoon the UPA chairperson inaugurated a drinking water scheme christened after her husband in Kondal village of Palwal district. Handing a “superlative credit card” to Hooda, she expressed the hope that he and his government would continue coming up to the expectations of the public in future, too. She went to the extent of saying that the dreams of the former premier about the country’s status in the 21st century would be first fulfilled in Haryana.

She said before the Congress took over the reigns of governance in the state four years ago, Haryana was marked by poor law and order situation and wobbly economic condition. Now the scene had changed dramatically for the better.

Speaking in the area dominated by Meos, a Muslim community, Sonia highlighted various measures taken by the Manmohan Singh government for the welfare of the minorities. Earlier, Hooda highlighted development works done by his government. Sonia also laid the foundation stone of a multi-crore medical college and inaugurated teaching block, a campus school and a girl’s hostel on the campus of Bhagat Phool Singh Women University at Khanpur Kalan village in Sonepat district. She also unveiled a statue of the founder of the institution, Bhagar Pooran Singh.

She was accompanied by Union Ministers Selja, Inderjit Singh and Prithviraj Chavan, who is also in charge of the Congress in Haryana.
Nuh (Mewat), March 1
The Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Supply Project worth Rs 425 crore, the first phase of which was inaugurated by UPA chairperson and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi today, was expected to benefit as many as 258 water-starved villages of the Mewat area.

Water shortage has remained an acute problem for the people of the Mewat area ever since its inception. Water crisis, coupled with certain socio-economic factors, has been impeding the development of this area.

Admitting this in her speech, Sonia maintained that the development of Mewat was a challenge since the formation of Haryana in 1966.

Expressing satisfaction over the development works undertaken by the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress regime in Haryana, she said the state government had accorded top priority to end the scarcity of drinking water in the district.

The said project, which was inaugurated at Kondal village in Palwal district, would mainly cater to the people of the Mewat area.

Referring to the instance when the members of the Muslim community of Mewat had decided to stay in India instead of shifting to Pakistan at the time of Partition on an appeal by Mahatma Gandhi, Sonia said the people of Mewat had set an example of social harmony which others should emulate.

Carrying forward the AICC chief’s assertions, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda disclosed that a proposal for the construction of a Mewat canal at an estimated cost of Rs 326.40 crore had been sent to the Central Water Commission for approval.

Hooda pointed out that the country’s first mobile court was started in Mewat, and added that the Kotla lake here was also being developed.

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