Claiming that the Congress has emerged a strong unifying and secular force in all three regions of the state, Jammu and Kashmir Congress Committee president Saifuddin Soz, while attending a party rally at Rajouri on Friday, said the party alone can better serve the interest of all sections of the society and lead the state on the path of peace, progress and prosperity.
Appealing to residents of the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch to further strengthen the Congress for the "better future" of the state, he said the party was the "only secular force acceptable" in all three regions, and has emerged strong because of people's support to its policies and programmes.
He praised the people of the districts for their commitment to secularism. "These people bore the brunt of three wars with Pakistan and a proxy war, but never allowed the hostile forces from outside or inside to succeed in their designs, and maintained religious harmony and secular traditions," he added.
Expressing awareness of the difficulties faced by the residents, who lack adequate opportunities on various fronts, especially economic, developmental and employment, Soz claimed that Rahul Gandhi was taking a "personal interest" in the affairs of the youth and the welfare of the people of the state. "As a result, the Jammu-Poonch railway project is at the final stage of sanction and will be taken up soon," he claimed.
He added that the opening of the Mughal Road was also the result of "liberal funding" by the UPA government, and would provide new opportunities for tourism and employment.
Roads and buildings minister Abdul Majid Wani, deputy Congress Legislature Party leader Mohammad Sharief Niaz, minister of state for health Shabir Ahmed Khan and member of legislative council Ravinder Sharma.
Soz, who is on a three-day tour of Rajouri and Poonch districts, is expected to address rallies in Haveli-Mandi, Surankot and Darhal.