Karimganj: The law and order
situation in Assam has changed "tremendously" in the last ten
years and peace and development is returning to the state,
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday said.
"The situation changed tremendously during the last
ten years of Congress rule under Tarun Gogoi, with peace and
development returning to the state and schemes being speedily
implemented," Gandhi told an election rally at Neelam Bazaar
in Karimganj district.
She said, "The state was in an all-round mess ten
years ago when the AGP was in power with even government
employees not getting salaries and people were not able to go
out of their homes because of poor law and order."
The Congress government in the state has laid stress
on education as the party considers it an investment for the
children`s future, the UPA chairperson said.
The state government has already given computers to
children who secured first division in the matric examination
and cycles to girl students of class VIII so that they could
go to school without any difficulty, she said.
"The Congress also proposes to set up a Barak Valley
Engineering College and a Polytechnic Institute in Karimganj,
Gandhi arrived to address three election rallies at
Karimganj, Bokajan and Khumtai going to polls in the first
phase on April four.
Gandhi said the UPA government under the leadership of
Manmohan Singh had laid special emphasis on education by
implementing the Right to Education Act, under which each
child below 14 years of age would be provided free and
Speaking about the importance of surface transport,
she said the UPA government was fully aware about it in the
development process and sanctioned a broadguage railway line
from Silchar to Guwahati and double laning of the national
On minorities, she said, it was during the UPA-I
government that for the first time a separate ministry for
minorities was set up to ensure their development.
On women, the UPA chairperson said, the Congress
realised that no state or country could develop without the
progress of women.
"It is our government that has initiated several
schemes to make them self-reliant not only economically, but
also politically, by increasing their reservation in
panchayats and zilla parishads," she said.
The salaries of anganwadi workers have been doubled to
Rs 3,000 and their children provided insurance facilities,
"You have already seen what the AGP in the state and
the NDA at the Centre have done. The Congress is not among
those parties which make false promises and forget all about
it when they come to power," she said.
Appealing to the people to vote for the Congress, she
said, "Cast your valuable vote for all Congress candidates
so that the party can make your beautiful state more
prosperous and developed."
In Doriya, Gandhi attacked the opposition BJP and AGP of
indulging in opportunistic politics and giving false promises
to the people.
"Now is the time for the people to give a fitting reply to
those political parties who give false promises and indulge
in opportunistic politics," she said.
"You have given them (AGP, BJP) a strong reply for the
last ten years and the Tarun Gogoi-led government has laid the
foundation of development here. Now we have to build on that
foundation," said Sonia dressed in a traditional Assamese
golden Muga silk mekhela-sador.
"We have fought communal and terrorist forces...we have
sacrificed our lives. On the contrary the AGP and BJP have
only given false promises and engaged in double speak," the
UPA chairperson claimed.
She said, "How can these kind of people lead the country?
They will only sow the seeds of communal tension which will
break down the country. You can understand how these kind of
people will serve the nation."
"You have seen both the AGP and BJP .... during their
regimes how corruption had spread. There was no development at
all then and the law and order machinery had totally broken
down. There were bad roads and no electricity," she said.
"Absolutely nothing happened during the NDA, BJP and AGP
regimes in contrast to all the development work we have done,"
Gandhi claimed that "the Congress has changed
the picture of Assam by granting refinery, a gas cracker
project, laid new railway lines and built new highways".
"The Congress has always stood for the poor, social
justice and always fought for the nation`s development. Our
leaders have brought technical knowhow which has helped the
country to march on the path of development," Gandhi asserted.
A food security scheme had also been implemented by the
UPA government to ensure no one remains hungry, she added.
For development of education, she said, historic steps
had been taken by the Congress-led government in Assam.
"Laptops, computers and cycles have been provided to the
students, central universities, engineering colleges and
paramedical training institutes have been set up, special
scholarships given to BPL students from class one to
engineering and medical colleges with free education to
children from 6-14 years," Gandhi said.
Addressing the poll rally for the Tea tribe dominated
Khumtai constituency, the Congress supremo said, the national
health insurance provided to the BPL people had also been
extended to the tea garden workers.
A special tea garden package was given to Assam for
reopening of the sick gardens, she said, adding, tea had also
been included in the central special development project to
boost tea export.