Sonia launches attack on SAD-BJP in Punjab

It was Sonia Gandhi`s second visit to Punjab which goes to polls on January 30. She visited Kapurthala last week.

Gurdaspur: Launching a scathing
attack on the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, UPA chairperson
and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday accused it of using
central funds for their own benefits rather than for the
progress of the state.

Refuting the allegation that the central government had
always given a step-motherly treatment to the state, Gandhi
said the UPA government under the leadership of Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh had given sufficient grants to Punjab for its
progress and development.

She added that the money sent by the Centre was used by
the Akalis for their own benefits rather than for progress of
the state.

Castigating the SAD-BJP alliance for not properly
utilising funds available under centrally sponsored schemes,
Gandhi said, "the SAD-BJP rule destroyed Punjab...there have
been scandals and embezzlements all round and corruption is at
its peak".

She said that the UPA government provided grants to
states irrespective of which government is ruling them.

"The UPA gave packages to Punjab for improvement on
economic fronts, but the Akalis never bothered about Centre
sponsored schemes," she said.

Listing out the "shortcomings" of the Akali regime,
Gandhi at a public meeting at this border area of Punjab, said
that the common man in the state felt insecure in view of the
poor law and order situation in the state.

"Youths are taking to drugs as there are no employment
avenues in Punjab," she said adding that the health care in
the state was in a bad condition.

It was Gandhi`s second visit to Punjab which goes to
polls on January 30. She visited Kapurthala last week.

Noting that there was "acute" power shortage in Punjab,
she said that there was no electricity for farmers, industry
and the common man in the state.

The Congress president said that politics and power are
used by her party for the upliftment of poor and weak people
in society.

Gandhi named centre-sponsored schemes, including MNREGA,
JNURM, Rajiv Gandhi Vidyut Nigam Yogna, Rajiv Gandhi Savasthya
Mission and mid-day meal schemes which UPA launched for the
benefit of all sections of the society.

She said that under the Congress regime dams, power
houses were set up in Punjab. Besides, green revolution was
brought by the Congress in the state, she added.

She said that the UPA government had given lot of money
and projects for the development of border areas. Computer
training centres have been set for providing training to
youths, she said.

Talking about industry, she said that the UPA under a
scheme had given crores of rupees to the sulking industry in
the state so that entrepreneurs invest money here but the
Akalis never implemented the Central scheme.