Sonia kickstarts poll campaign in J&K; eyes women voters

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Jammu, Apr 12 (UNI) Sounding the bugle for the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today wooed the women voters by ensuring them of her party's firm commitment to 33 per cent reservation for the fair sex in Parliament as well as state assemblies.

Noting that the quota for the fair sex women was a long-cherished dream of her husband and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, she said, ''Congress is trying hard to get the reservation bill for women passed in Parliament.'' Ms Gandhi, who addressed a women-dominated rally at Mini Stadium Parade here, assured that her party was seriously considering the demand for 33 per cent reservation for the fair sex.

While the UPA chairperson counted the achievements of the Congress-led government, she skirted the price rise issue and stayed away from commenting on inflation.

With special emphasis on female foeticide, Ms Gandhi also voiced concern against the social evils in society.

She appealed to the women to take firm stand against female foeticide and evils like dowry and domestic violence in society.

''A girl can achieve success in the world and equally shoulder responsibility with her male counterparts,'' the Congress President said.

Appreciating the role of the fair sex in the state, Ms Gandhi appealed to the women Congress workers in the state to spread various developmental schemes, initiated by the UPA government, among the masses and strengthen the party for the ensuing assembly polls.

The Congress President evaded a response on People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti's reported formula of joint-control of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ms Gandhi also assessed the progress of Satellite Township being developed nearby at Jagti for Kashmiri Pandits after the violence erupted in the Valley.

UNI VJ KD MIR KP1702

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