Sonia says Third Front ‘prone to disintegration’ (Lead)

April 3rd, 2009 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Bhubaneswar, April 2 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday said the Third Front was “prone to disintegration”, as the ruling United Progressive Alliance chairperson kicked off her party’s campaign in Orissa.
“The Third Front is not good for democracy and they cannot provide good governance to the people,” she said at an election rally in southern town of Behrampur in Ganjam district.

“Such groups would push the country towards disaster because they do not have specific plans and programmes,” said Gandhi, who was here on a day-long trip.

The Congress president addressed three election rallies in Ganjam, Koraput and Bargarh.

At a rally at Jamunda village in state’s Bargarh district, some 385 km from here, Gandhi criticised the state government for taking credit for the schemes launched by the central government.

The UPA government, led by the Congress, had started a scheme of selling rice at cheaper rate but the state government is trying to mislead people by claiming credit for it, she said.

She said development had been hampered in Orissa because of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Biju Janata Dal (BJD) coalition and now they are blaming each other after their alliance collapsed, she said, calling on people to vote for a party which takes care of the poor.

Describing the Congress as a party which works for the poor and highlighting the achievements of the UPA government, Gandhi said the central government has been sending huge sums of money to the state under various schemes but the state government was not able to spend the money.

Gandhi also accused the Orissa government of not providing remunerative price to the farmers for their produce.

Describing Orissa as a peaceful state, the Congress chief said some people were trying to create disturbance and that needs to be foiled.

“People of Orissa are peace loving, but seeds of hatred are being sown by some outfits.”

People must remain alert against divisive forces and maintain peace, brotherhood and unity, Gandhi said.

At Lumbiri village in the district of Koraput, Gandhi highlighted the plight of the tribal population who constitute over 22 percent of the state’s population.

In a bid to woo them, she said the UPA government had taken several measures for their socio-economic development.

She also criticised Orissa’s ruling BJD and its former ally BJP for not implementing properly the centrally sponsored rural job scheme. She also blamed them for not utilizing the central fund properly.

Orissa will go to polls in two phases - April 16 and 23 - to elect 147 members to the state assembly and 21 members to the Lok Sabha.

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