Congress upholds cause of weaker sections: Gandhi (Lead)

February 3rd, 2009 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiJaipur, Feb 3 (IANS) The Congress has always upheld the cause of the weaker sections of society and farmers and would continue to empower them, party president Sonia Gandhi said here Tuesday as she thanked people of Rajasthan for voting the party to power.”When the Congress was in power in the state, we had taken up the cause of farmers and weaker sections of society. Now too, the Congress will try to empower weaker sections of society, provide facilities to farmers and jobs to the youth,” Gandhi said.

She was addressing a ‘thanksgiving’ rally after the Congress defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the December 2008 elections and returned to power in Rajasthan. Ashok Gehlot took over from Vasundhara Raje as chief minister.

Referring to the BJP as a “sectarian force”, Gandhi said people do not trust those who play politics in the name of caste and religion.

Congress will not make false promises to people of the state in the name of thanksgiving, she said, and added: “We will thank people with our work, and I am sure that we will meet the expectations of the masses.”

She said the Gehlot government would fulfill all promises the party made during the assembly elections. “We aim to have a corruption-free Rajasthan,” she said.

While thanking the Congress workers for bringing the party to power, Gandhi asked them to work with the same enthusiasm during the forthcoming parliament elections.

Gandhi said the Congress-led central government had provided Rs.400 billion (Rs.40,000 crores) to Rajasthan in the last five years but no development had taken place. “If the then state government (of the BJP) had utilised the amount properly, the state would have seen a lot of development.”

Gehlot said his government would work towards empowering the weaker sections of society and for the benefit of the farmers.

He also announced that the electricity tariff for farmers would not be increased for the next five years.

“We would provide a sensitive and transparent government,” the chief minister said.

He said his government with the support of the masses would undertake development of the state in a big way.

After the rally, Gandhi went to Bagru, over 30 km from here, and dedicated the Rs.175 billion (Rs.1,757 crore) Mundra-Delhi oil pipeline of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) to the nation in the presence of Gehlot and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora.

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