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Sonia pledges protection to minorities, development

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Guwahati, Apr 6 (UNI) Campaigning in Asom for the second time in a week, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today promised minorities of all protection besides development and peace.

Addressing election rallies at the heart of three minority-dominated areas in central, northern and western Asom during her day-long tour of the state, Ms Gandhi promised protection to genuine Indian citizens in the process of detection and deportation of foreigners in Asom.

''Congress has made it sure that minority citizens in Asom are well protected and not harassed in the name of detection and deportation of illegal migrants even after scrapping of the IMDT Act, 1983,'' the UPA chairperson said, beginning her whirlwind electioneering at a rally in minority-dominated Nagaon in central Asom this noon.

''The Congress is the only party that strives for the uplift of the minorities and underprivileged. Working for the underprivileged is in the ideology of the Congress. Our ideology does not change with time and atmosphere,'' she emphasised.

The AICC chief appealed to the people to vote for Congress, enabling it to rule the state for the next five years so that it could carry forward the development work it had undertaken in the last five years. ''I am here to ask for your support to help the Congress build Asom's future,'' she said.

Charging the rival Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) with failing to deliver on all fronts while it was in power in Asom, she said when it was in power, it couldn't get even half the volume of Central assistance the Congress could procure for Asom during the last five years.'' She said the AGP had failed in its primary goal of implementing the Assam Accord and it was the Congress which took the initiative to solve the problem of illegal migrants through implementation of the Accord provisions.

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