Sonia?s chariot will be on the royal road
AS CONGRESS president Sonia Gandhi files her nomination papers on Monday, the focus shifts to by-election for Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat where polling will take place on May 8. If response to her previous visit and the stature of candidates announced to contest against her gives any indication, Sonia Gandhi will have a cake-walk. By fielding greenhorns as candidates against her, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Apna Dal have assured that the Sonia?s victory march goes unhindered.india Updated: Apr 16, 2006 01:46 IST
To file papers in Rae Bareli tomorrow
AS CONGRESS president Sonia Gandhi files her nomination papers on Monday, the focus shifts to by-election for Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat where polling will take place on May 8.
If response to her previous visit and the stature of candidates announced to contest against her gives any indication, Sonia Gandhi will have a cake-walk. By fielding greenhorns as candidates against her, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Apna Dal have assured that the Sonia’s victory march goes unhindered.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh has decided not to field any candidate. Singh also remains mum on the issue of supporting the SP candidate against Sonia Gandhi. All eyes are now set on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is yet to announce its candidate. Will the BJP too follow the footsteps of the SP or field a comparatively stronger candidate against Sonia Gandhi?
This is the million-dollar question that will find its answer in the days to come.
As far as issues are concerned, the various political parties have failed to raise any major issue and the Congress leaders feel that the election centres more around her margin of victory than on the real contest. Yet, the by-poll has come at a point when the issue of reservation in higher educational institutions is being debated. So the opposition would obviously make an attempt to raise the issue.
The Congress, however, would like to focus on Sonia Gandhi’s sacrifice. Various other issues related to the law and order situation and the development would automatically draw attention. The SP has claimed that a lot was being done for the development of Rae Bareli. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had announced a package for the development of the constituency. So, the SP will obviously try to focus on development issues.
The SP’s claims need no rebuttal, say Congress leaders. Yet, the Congress has worked out a list of projects which are being undertaken in Rae Bareli. Various key projects which figure on the list include the Gas Authority of India’s (GAIL) project to supply Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to domestic consumers. A ‘Saajha Chulha’ programme to provide supply of gas and common gas stoves to enable poor to cook their food free of cost is also being undertaken there.
A sum of Rs 150 crore has been allocated under the Central Road Fund for the development of road network in the constituency. A sum of Rs 126 crore is being spent on the implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme for installation of feeder to get power from Unchahar plant. A sum of Rs 6 crore has been allocated to the development of Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Dalmau historical city and renovation of Ma Anandi Devi temple there.
Various projects which have already come up include the improvement of the Firoz Gandhi Engineering College and revival package for the Indian Telephone Industry. A sum of Rs 1.5 crore has been spent on setting up of a Trauma Centre at the city’s civil hospital. All the post offices in the constituency have been computerised and foreign currency exchange facility has been provided at Maharajganj post office. Besides, providing mobile PCOs in the constituency the BSNL network has been strengthened to give 100 per cent coverage to the constituency.