NC Denied J&K People Benefits Of Food Security Scheme: Sonia

21 November 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

Srinagar: Launching attack on her party's alliance partner (NC) for the first time in last six years, All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi today said, 'We gave full support to them to run Government but they did not implement our programmes and schemes, including Food Security Bill in the State.' Addressing large public rallies at Bandipora in Kashmir and Chanderkote in Ramban district of Jammu region today, AICC president said, 'We gave full support to them (NC) to run the Government in Jammu and Kashmir , but they did not implement our programmes and schemes in the State.' 'When our Government was at the Centre we came up with the Food Security Bill so that poorest of the poor gets food on the cheap rates, but due to the lethargy of the NC, the Bill was not implemented in J&K thereby, denying benefits of the Food Scheme to the people here,' she maintained. Ms Gandhi asserted that once the Congress Government comes to power in the State, it will implement the Food Security bill, ensuring subsidized food to the poor. Accusing the Modi Government at the Centre for playing politics over relief in Kashmir, the AICC president said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can join hands with any one for the sake of grabbing power. Without naming separatists, Sonia said that the BJP can join hands with any one for grabbing power while Congress would always join hands with the secular forces for keeping the 'communals' out. The party is trying to saffaronize Kashmir and dividing people on the communal lines. She said the party is propagating the communal agenda in J&K State which is very dangerous for the secular society. The people should understand the designs of the BJP and reject it in the coming elections. Launching scathing attack on BJP, Sonia Gandhi said that party was playing politics over flood relief in J&K State. She said there is lot of difference between the words and deeds of the BJP leadership. Without naming Narendra Modi, she said party's top leaders claimed that for relief funds to J&K there was no limit but unfortunately the people of Kashmir are still waiting for the flood relief. They have only received lip sympathy from the BJP led Government at the Centre. She said Congress leaders and she herself during floods and even at the time of earth quake in Uri and other parts of north Kashmir visited every area and launched relief work on war footing and provided every possible help. But that sort of help was missing this time in Kashmir. Maintaining that Congress has very strong bonding with J&K, Sonia said, 'Congress Party has always been with the J&K in moment of happiness and grief . We will continue to be with you in future as well.' 'Our relationship with J&K is very old one. From Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru to Indira Gandhi and to Rajiv Gandhi and later Dr Manmohan Singh worked hard with heart and soul for the development and prosperity of J&K, she said adding that it was Jawahar Tunnel which connected two sides of the Pir Panjal and provided all weather road connectivity to the people of this State. Congress has always given special attention to this State. For launching major development projects and restoring shattered economic of this State on the rails, the UPA Government provided special packages to J&K. AICC chief said that it was UPA Government which in 2011 commenced work on four more tunnels to further provide better surface transport connectivity and one of the tunnels is 11 kms long, which is longest one in the country. While showcasing former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's tenure as 'era of development in the State', Ms Gandhi said it was due to the efforts of Azad that hundreds of villages and areas were connected through road connectivity and power supply besides hospitals and educational institutions were set up. The biggest thing Congress has done during its rule is an equitable development in all the three regions of the State. She said the Congress party would seek votes from the people only on the development plank, peace and progress of the State. Only Congress can keep all the three regions of the State united and ensure better development, peace and prosperity here, she maintained. Criticising BJP of playing politics over providing relief to flood victims of Kashmir, AICC president at Bandipora said that BJP Government failed to provide succour to the flood victims of the State and described their promises as hollow. Ms Gandhi, who was in Bandipora to campaign for Congress candidate Usman Majid for the forthcoming Assembly elections, said the polls are being held in the State when the people are still struggling to rebuild their lives . The BJP has only made false promises with the people. 'It does not feel good to talk politics but the relief and rehabilitation work is going on a very slow pace,' she said. Ms Gandhi said the UPA Government went all out to provide succour to the victims of the 2005 earthquake on fast track basis that affected vast areas along the Line of Control, particularly Uri sector of Baramulla district. 'What has happened now when there is a BJP Government (at the Centre)? It seems they are not interested. BJP leaders came and promised the sky but did not give anything. Even what the State Government asked was not given,' she said. The State Government has submitted a comprehensive package of Rs 44,000 crore for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood affected people and infrastructure in the State. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 745 crore assistance to the State when he visited here on Diwali on October 23. Gandhi lauded the role played by the volunteers in providing succour to the flood-hit and said they did what ever was possible. 'Congress has an all-weather relation with people of Kashmir. My family roots bring me here time and again,' she said. Highlighting the steps taken by UPA Government at the Centre for J&K, Ms Gandhi said Wullar Beautification Project was sanctioned in 2011, a new air strip and two regional councils were promised. 'Congress has done lot of work for the people of the State. The views of Congress for development of Jammu and Kashmir are very clear. We should not show dreams which are not possible on the ground,' she maintained. While asking the people to vote for Congress for safeguarding secular values, Gandhi said Congress believes in secularism and to keep away communal powers, 'we decided to have a coalition Government'. Earlier, addressing the gathering, JKPCC chief Saif-ud-Din Soz said, a vote for BJP in the Assembly elections will mean a vote for the RSS. He asked all the secular forces to get united to keep the communal party out. Without naming the Prime Minister, he said, 'This man is running foreign policy as well as internal policy without consulting anyone, furthering the RSS agenda'. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that all political parties, except Congress, had entered into secret pact with the BJP to be part of the new Government. He said the BJP was trying to saffronize Kashmir. The party is hell bent to engineer polarization in the Chenab valley region for the sake of power. 'We will have to defeat such forces,' Mr Azad maintained. Referring to the development witnessed between 2006-2008 during his Government in the State, Azad said people even today recall that era of development when major projects were executed on fast track basis. 'We ensured responsive, transparent and effective governance. If voted to power, the Congress would accomplish its unfinished projects and agenda,' Mr Azad maintained. AICC general secretary and incharge J&K State of the party Ambika Soni and party candidate also spoke on the occasion.