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Friday, January 20, 2012

PM attacks state govt for not utilising central funds

Local Congress leaders present a photograph of Hemkunt Sahib to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during an election rally at Rudrpur on Friday.
Local Congress leaders present a photograph of Hemkunt Sahib to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during an election rally at Rudrpur on Friday.

Rudrapur, January 20
Emboldening the Congress campaign for the coming state Assembly poll in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has underlined that only the Congress has the “experience and the ability” to deal with the challenges which the nation is facing.
In a strong political speech delivered at a rally held here today at Gandhi Maidan, Dr Singh attacked the BJP government in the state for having failed to utilise the funds given by the Centre for the welfare of the marginalised sections of society like the minorities, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, women and children. He also underlined that only the Congress understood the ideal functioning marked by a coordination between states and the Centre.
Dr Singh’s presence in Udham Singh Nagar was important from several perspectives. To begin with, this is the economic hub of Uttarakhand where both industrial and agricultural development have taken place.
Secondly, there is a presence of a sizeable number of Punjabi and Bengali population that was resettled here after the Partition.
Referring to his address to the nation earlier this year wherein he had listed various challenges being faced by the nation, including poverty, challenges of health, economic security, environment security, energy security, etc, Dr Singh said, “While casting your vote, you must keep in mind which party is capable of meeting these challenges. Only the Congress has the ability and the experience to deal with these problems.”
Attacking the BJP government in the state, he said the development initiated by the Congress regime in the state was brought to a standstill by the BJP.
“I am told that the central funds meant for the development of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the minorities, women and children are not being utilised. On the one side, the unemployed youth is resorting to hunger strikes and on the other there are a large number of posts of teacher lying vacant. Corruption has been prevailing and no step has been taken to check the migration of the youth to other parts of the country,” he said.
He came up with a list of initiatives taken by the UPA government at the Centre for the development in the state while substantiating his claims with relevant statistics.
The Prime Minister also recounted the new initiatives take by the government led by him at the national level like the RTI, the RTE, the MGNREGA and the extension of Mid-Day Meal scheme.
State unit Congress president Yash Pal Arya, party candidates from Haldwani and Rudrapur Indira Hridayesh and Tilak Raj Behed, also spoke on the occasion along with the local parliamentarian KC Singh Baba.
Jo boley so nihal...
Manmohan Singh was able to strike an instant chord with the people of Rudrapur. He was greeted with wild cheers when he recounted how he was personally attached to the Terai area of Uttarakhand. He related how he had spent an initial period of his life in Haldwani. Apart from the regular slogan of ‘Dr Manmohan Singh Zindabad’ the crowd resorted to the slogan more identified with Sikhism “Jo boley so nihal, Sat Sri Akal….” Dr Singh was seen waving to the noisy crowds at length.
PM’s arrival a relief for Behed
The sound of the chopper carrying the Prime Minister dispelled the fear that fog could play a spoilsport and once again Congress workers would have to be content with listening only to the state leaders just like when Congress president Sonia Gandhi had failed to turn up at a party rally in Haldwani a few days back as the weather had prevented her departure from Delhi. The arrival brought more relief to the Congress candidate from Rudrapur seat Tilak Raj Behed as failure of Dr Singh to come would have meant a double blow to him.
BJP bashing on a high
When it comes to giving a new nomenclature to the rivals, the politicians never disappoint. This time around it was left to the local leader Indu Mann who is also known for her oratory to do some BJP bashing. Having attacked the state government for having failed on all fronts, she said, ”The BJP stands for Bhrashta (Corrupt) Janata Party.” This drew cheers from the crowds who had turned up in large numbers”.
Rudrapur a fortress
The town had been turned into a fortress on the occasion of the Prime Minister’s visit. Not only had the area where Dr Singh was to move been sealed two hours prior to his visit, the inter-district and inter-state traffic had also been diverted since 9 am. In addition to this, the shops on the main roads around the bus-stand had also been shut. The presence of a large number of policemen had been witnessed in the town over the past two days. But the enthusiasm of the locals on getting an opportunity to listen to the Prime Minister prevailed over the inconvenience being faced by them.

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