Akhnoor (Jammu), Nov 24: Claiming that its poll manifesto is a "reflection of popular aspirations", Congress on Monday asked people to vote for it during Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir for equitable development of all the three regions in the state.
"Congress manifesto is a reflection of popular aspirations. We pledge to set-up regional development councils in Jammu and Kashmir," Congress leader and state minister Sham Lal Sharma said today.
Sharma, who is the sitting Akhnoor MLA, was campaigning in border belts of Akhnoor constituency, from where he is the party candidate.
"While others' agenda remains to grab power much before the verdict, Congress has re-pledged its commitments towards those issues which guarantee development, peace, prosperity and progress of the state," said the Minister for Irrigation, Flood Control and PHE.
"Party seeks popular mandate of three regions for equitable development as well as to redress grievances of the neglected," he said.
Hailing Congress' promise to set up regional development councils, Sharma, who is considered an advocate of Jammu's cause, said devolution of power and re-strengthening of Panchyati Raj system are popular aspirations.
He sought overwhelming mandate for the party, saying that during coalition government, it had bitter experiences which people could now rectify by voting Congress to power.
The MLA urged upon the women voters and the youths to vote for the party, saying development and progress are his main election agendas.
He said people know that Akhnoor has been made a "crime-free city" and has been provided with responsible administration.
Congress manifesto is 'old wine in new bottle' : BJP
Terming Congress's manifesto for the Assembly polls as "old wine in new bottle", BJP today hit out at the party for failing on all fronts and repeating old promises.
"Congresss manifesto is reflection of the failure of the party on all fronts. It is old wine in a new bottle", Bali Bhagat, BJP state General Secretary and party candidate from Raipur-Domana constituency said during a public meeting in Domana belt here.
"Since 2002 Congress has been repeating same promises in its manifesto. It appears that the only aim of Congress is to enjoy the power by bartering the wishes and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Promising equitable development of the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Congress had yesterday released its manifesto which proposed two empowered regional councils, decentralisation, more cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and review of cases of detainees not involved in grave offences.
Hitting out at the party for promising Regional Council for Jammu Region, Bhagat said, "What have you done for the people of Jammu region during the last 12 years except minting money?"
He added that instead of highlighting their achievements Congress leaders are brazenly making promises with the people.
"Gone are the days when Congress used to be fool the people by making false promises. Now people are demanding report card of their 12 year period in power," Bhagat said.
Cautioning people against the "dangerous game-plan of Congress party", the BJP leader said be fooling people by making false promise is policy matter of Congress party. Jammu and Kashmir goes to polls in the first phase of the five-stage Assembly elections tomorrow.