Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday took to task those who "ridiculed" Rajiv Gandhi's vision of the 21st century India and said the country was cruising along the path of high technological development owing to his policies.
"When Rajiv gave the vision of 21 century many people used to ridicule him... But now the emergence of India's image in the world as a technological power is a result of his policies", she said after laying down the foundation stone of Super Thermal Power Project of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) here.
The UPA chairperson said the Manmohan Singh led government had accorded top priority to power sector, as no development was possible without the requisite infrastructure.
"During the last five years of UPA rule, India had progressed rapidly on path of development and self-reliance. The civil nuclear power deal (with US) is a testimony to India's emphasis on the power sector," she said adding that the UPA government plans envisaged every household to be lit with electricity by 2012.
Noting that the proposed Rs 6,500 crore project of NTPC would generate 1320 MW, Sonia said it would not only benefit Maharashtra but also the entire Western India.
Referring to the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, Sonia said the whole nation had spoken in one voice to meet the challenge of the menace of terrorism, which she said was also an impediment in the path of country's development.
Describing Maharashtra as a premiere state in the country, she hoped the state would make rapid progress under the leadership of Chief Minster Ashok Chavan.
In a speech that reflected pre-election fever, UPA Chairperson said the UPA was committed to fulfill the people's expectations, adding the whole country had love and faith in Congress.
Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde thanked the farmers whose land had been acquired for the NTPC project and noted that they were being compensated adequately. The Project would be located across 1,700 acres of land out which 843 acres has already been acquired.
Chief Minster Ashok Chavan expressed confidence that the NTPC project at Solapur and the coming up plant near Nagpur would go a long way in meeting power shortfall in Maharashtra.
R S Sharma CMD NTPC later told reporters that NTPC at present had deposited Rs 35 crore with the district administration to compensate the farmers concerned.
He said the project expected to be completed by 2012, would see significant reduction in the level of emissions and consume around 7.5 million tonnes of coal annually.