Sonia in Rae Bareli, talks development, assembly polls (Second Lead)June 11th, 2009 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, June 11 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on a visit to her Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Thursday said that development would top the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s agenda for the next five years and also urged party workers to gear up for the next assembly elections.
“We are not going to compromise with the issue of development as it will continue to remain on top (of the agenda) for our government,” Gandhi told a gathering of party workers at the Feroz Gandhi Degree College in Rae Bareli, some 80 km from here.
“We will make an all-out effort to fulfil the promises made before the Lok Sabha polls. Our party will try its best to live up to the expectations of the public, who supported the Congress in reviving itself in the state,” she added.
Praising her son Rahul Gandhi, who is a party general secretary, for his campaign in various parts of the state during the Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi said: “Rahul’s hard work is definitely one of the main factors that contributed to the Congress victory in the state.”
“Our party’s performance, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, is a matter of pride. Victory of the Congress has made it clear that communal forces in the county have been defeated. Moreover, it also reflects that people overlooked the anti-incumbency factor,” she said.
The Congress improved its tally in Uttar Pradesh to 22 seats in 2009 up from nine in 2004.
Later at meeting of block-level office bearers of the party, Gandhi said: “I urge you to concentrate on issues related to the development of the region and prepare for the vidhan sabha (state assembly) polls. We would also like to thank the people of Uttar Pradesh for entrusting their faith in us.”
In the last assembly polls in May 2007, the Bahujan Samaj Party managed a simple majority.
“I apologize for not coming to Rae Bareli before the elections. But I assure you that the UPA government will launch more developmental schemes for the region and entire state,” she said.
Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka expressed her dissatisfaction over the low voter turnout during the Lok Sabha polls in the region.
“I never expected such a low turn out. However, this was due to the scorching heat and in the next elections i will ask for more votes,” Priyanka said.
“You (party workers) are very important. At the time of elections, you all worked very hard. Now you have to work with same strength to ensure development in the state,” Priyanka added.
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Tags: assembly elections, bahujan samaj party, communal forces, congress president sonia gandhi, degree college, feroz gandhi, general secretary, incumbency, last assembly, Lok Sabha, matter of pride, next five years, parliamentary constituency, progressive alliance, rae bareli, rahul gandhi, state assembly polls, UPA, uttar pradesh, vidhan sabha