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Sonia promises sops to farmers

india Updated: Jan 22, 2012 13:45 IST
Prithviraj Singh

In a marked departure from her Roorkee election address, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday tried to appease the voters of Kumaon region by focusing her speech mainly on hills areas of the state. She alleged that the BJP government in the state was creating a gap between the populations of hills and plains of the state.

Addressing a massive crowd at HN Bahuguna Sports stadium in Almora, Sonia took the state government head on and said that besides its non performance, scams and ill governance, the state government had deliberately created differences between the hill and plain populations of the state .

She said the BJP government had forced the youths of hill areas to migrate in search of livelihood. "In addition to this, the state government also kept the SC-ST youths away from getting government jobs. They are recruiting persons to appease their party workers and supporters belonging to a particular section of the state," she said, adding that the state government used the central fund for its own interest and to benefit its party leaders.

It also deliberately stopped the establishment of a medical college and modern hospital in Almora proposed by the previous Congress government.

"The present BJP regime has deliberately made the hill areas backwaters," alleged Sonia, while urging the people to vote for Congress candidates in Almora.

It had also failed to provide power and other infrastructural facilities to the people in hill areas. "The state government provides only 13 % of power to the hill areas, despite the fact that majority of the population and land cover of the state belong to the hills. The state government has left the people to be content with sunlight and moonlight," scoffed the Congress president.

Seeking votes for its candidates, the Congress president said that whatever developments had taken place in the state were carried out by the Congress. The party had given many sops to the state like AIIMS, GB Pant University and IIM and Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail link. "If voted to power, the Congress government will establish an agricultural research institute in Almora, introduce fresh seed production programme for hill areas, implement bio-farming in 2000 hill villages and set up a horticulture training institute. We will stand by our promise, for this can be done only by the Congress regime," said the AICC president.