UPA not biased against UP: Sonia

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Rae Bareli, Dec 18 (UNI) Amid the accusations of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-led central government was responsible for the power and fertiliser shortage in the state, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today asserted that the Centre was ''not biased against any state government.'' ''The Centre has allocated projects and funds to UP, whenever needed,'' said Ms Gandhi speaking as chief guest on the occasion of starting of Rs 105 crore Sharda Sahayak Canal Project, Bhojpur -- about 50 kms from here.

Bhojpur is part of Saraini assembly segment in her Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency.

Accompanied by Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, Ms Gandhi said the project would benefit lakhs of people of Rae Bareli, Unnao and other neighbouring districts.

She informed that the Centre would also fund Central Ganga Canal Project, which was likely to be completed by the end of 2008.

The AICC president said these schemes were initiated during the regime of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, the then MP from Rae Bareli.

''The life of people of this region was much easier during her (Indira) regime, but now things have changed,'' she noted.

Although, she admitted that the state was facing shortage of power, water and fertiliser, Ms Gandhi maintained that the Centre had allocated maximum resources to UP ''without any bias.'' Ms Gandhi avowed to bring back the old times of her husband and late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the area.

Putting farmers' problems as the foremost on the UPA agenda, Ms Gandhi said the UPA government had launched various schemes for the farmers and expected the state government to complement and supplement them.

She also listed the development schemes initiated by the Centre, including Rs 25,000 crore corpus for farmers and 7 per cent loan scheme for farmers.

Ms Gandhi lamented that the state government had cut the power supply in the area from 14 hours to nine hours.

''During the Rajiv Gandhi era, a 400 megawatt (Mw) power station was inaugurated here...but now the power situation has deteriorated,'' she rued.

She reiterated that the UPA government was committed to improving the lot of farmers.

Meanwhile, Mr Soz said the Centre would sponsor several water management and flood control programmes in UP in the coming days.

''We will provide Rs 1,105 crore for various schemes,'' he announced.

Ms Gandhi is on a two-day visit of her parliamentary constituency.

She arrived at the Lucknow airport and later proceeded to Rae Bareli.


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