Congress will return to power in four states: Motilal Vora

April 9th, 2008 - 12:46 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Sujeet Kumar
Raipur, April 9 (IANS) Congress veteran Motilal Vora is confident that the success of rural development schemes will ensure his party’s return to power in Karnataka and the three Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. “The Congress will comfortably come back to power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh while in Karnataka the party will be able to form the government despite a tough battle on the cards,” Vora told IANS.

While Karnataka elects a new assembly in a three-phased poll beginning May 10, elections are due in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Vora’s home state of Chhattisgarh later this year.

“In Karnataka, people know only the Congress can provide a stable government which is a must for development. The party is hopeful of installing a government there next month,” remarked Vora, 80, a former chief minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh who also served as Uttar Pradesh governor.

He rejected reports that the Congress may go in for early Lok Sabha polls. “The general election will be held on time next year and the party will fight it together with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) constituents,” said the All India Congress Committee (AICC) treasurer.

He claimed that the UPA government has achieved several remarkable successes including the recent Rs.600 billion farm loan waiver and extension of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to all districts in India. “This will convince all that only the Congress can ensure the nation’s prosperity,” he said.

When asked to comment whether the party will fight the next Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, Vora said: “He (Rahul) is regularly touring states and gaining the people’s affection. Surely the people have much hope from the young leader. But it’s up to the party high command to decide about leadership.”

He hastened to add: “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has got appreciation for his work and the government’s stability.”

On sky-rocketing inflation that can play spoilsport for the Congress in the polls, Vora said: “UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is highly concerned about the rising inflation graph. Steps are being taken to keep it under check by slashing customs duty.”

Giving reasons for the Congress hopes of staging comebacks in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Vora said: “The UPA government’s massive fund allocations for development schemes in these states have now developed feelings among the people that the Congress is the best alternative among all parties.”

He criticised the BJP governments of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for claiming central government development schemes such as NREGS as the state’s own scheme and “misleading the masses” that it was the state government’s own scheme, utilising its own funds and resources.

“The Congress workers of these three states have been asked to launch door-to-door drives in villages to brief the people about the facts and expose the local government,” said Vora, who was recently re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Chhattisgarh.

Taking a dig at the BJP, Vora said: “In Madhya Pradesh, they have shuffled three chief ministers since replacing the Congress in December 2003. All this has hampered development. In Chhattisgarh, corruption and Maoist insurgency have touched saturation point during the present BJP regime.”

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