Sonia sounds poll bugle in Rajasthan, takes on Raje govt

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Devli, Tonk, Sep 8 (UNI) Sounding the poll bugle in Rajasthan much before the announcement of the election schedule, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today took the UPA government's ''pro-development agenda'' to the people while targeting the state BJP government for ''non-performance''.

Addressing a meeting here, Ms Gandhi trained her guns on the Vasundhara Raje government in the state for what she termed its ''inaction'' in all spheres.

''The BJP government in the state had failed in providing governance and solving people's problems,'' she said.

The Congress president alleged that the state government had tries to muzzle the voices of protestors with the use of force and cited the ''firing on farmers who tried to attract the government's attention towards the problems in water and power supply''.

Ms Gandhi urged the people to vote out the ''corrupt and scam-tainted state government'' in the polls.

While addressing a public meeting in Barsingsar near Bikaner, she expounded on the ''pro-people and pro-development agenda'' of the central government and listed the achievements of the UPA regime.

She said the signing of the nuclear accord with the US had ended three decades of India's nuclear isolation and lavished praise on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for clinching the accord.

Ms Gandhi said the Indo-US nuclear deal would accelerate the pace of development and would cater to the enhanced demand for energy in the country in the future.

She also commended the government for launching ''revolutionary projects and programmes including NREGS, special law for delegating land title rights to tribals in the forest area, social security measures for the poor strata like Aam Aadami Bima, Public Health Insurance scheme and the schemes for child and women development''.

Referring to the steps taken by the Centre for women empowerment, she said her late husband Rajiv Gandhi had paved the way for 33 per cent reservation for women in panchayats and civil bodies while the present government had introduced the Women Reservation Bill in Parliament.

The Congress President was in Barsingsar to launch mining operations at the NLC lignite mine.

Union Ministers Sheesh Ram Ola and Santosh Bagdodia, AICC General Secretary and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik and state Congress president CP Joshi were among those present at the meet.

UNI SS RR HT1842

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