Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday asked the people of Haryana to return the Congress to power in the upcoming assembly polls if they wanted the state to progress further.
"I am sure that people will vote for development, peace and security in Haryana and will negate all those powers who devastated this state during their tenure earlier," Sonia Gandhi told a gathering in this Haryana town, 100 km from Chandigarh.
"If you remember the state of affairs in Haryana five years back, farmers were disappointed, youngsters were worried about their future and the downtrodden sections were afraid of the existing system," she said, speaking in Hindi in her nearly 12-minute speech.
"We have the Vidhan Sabha (assembly) elections in Haryana in some days and we are confident that the people of this state will once again take the right decision as they did in the last Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha polls," she added.
Commending the Congress government led by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the state, Gandhi said: "In those difficult circumstances, you gave power to us and I am very satisfied that the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government has fulfilled all its promises. The union government has also extended every sort of help to Haryana."
She listed various projects sanctioned by the Congress governments at the centre and in the state for Haryana.
"Haryana is making phenomenal development in the field of education. A central university is coming up in Mahendragarh, an AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) is coming up in Jhajjar, a Rajiv Gandhi technology park in Sonepat and a separate university for women and a defence university will also soon come up in the state."
"We have worked a lot for the betterment of rural and backward class people and started various schemes for girls, freedom fighters and old people of the state. Haryana employees are getting salaries as per the Sixth Pay Commission, farmers are getting such supportive prices for their food grains and sugarcane that they never got in the past."
"During the opposition rule, the budget was Rs.2,300 crore. They spent some amount and everyone knew that in whose pocket the rest has gone. Today, our budget is Rs.11,000 crore and we are spending all the money on the development of Haryana," Gandhi pointed out.
Chief Minister Hooda, union ministers Kumari Selja and Prithviraj Chavan and other leaders, including Congress contestants for the Oct 13 poll to the 90-member Haryana assembly were present on the occasion.