Dimapur (Nagaland), Mar. 1 : UPA Chairperson and Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday reiterated that the budget proposals for 2008-09 were historic and revolutionary in content, and had addressed every section of society in the run-up to next year's general elections.
Addressing an election rally at Dimapur in Nagaland, Gandhi was all praise for Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's fifth consecutive budget and seventh overall, saying the signature achievement of it was the Rs. 60,000 crore loan waiver to farmers, which would go a long way in mitigating their problems.
Congratulating Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well for this revolutionary step, she said it would be implemented by June this year.
Highlighting the provisions of the budget for social sectors, Gandhi said substantial allocation was made for women welfare and for self-help groups. She called upon all Nagamese to vote for the Congress obn March 5.
Taking political potshots at the suspended Democratic Alliance Government in the State, she said President's Rule had to be imposed because of the latter's "inefficient and corrupt" rule.
Reminding the youth about the futility of violence, Gandhi further stated that the Constitution had enough space to redress grievances, indicating that the Naga political conflict could be settled through peaceful means.
Pointing out that the Constitution was accommodative in nature and spirit, Gandhi asserted, "in a democracy we have to take into consideration the views of all concerned and the youth have to shun the path of violence." Stating that the development was the need of the hour to fulfill the dreams of the youth, the Congress president said that for development and prosperity there must be peace, stability and security.
Gandhi asked the Nagamese to ask DAN leaders where they had spent the huge funds released by the UPA Government at the Centre.
Claiming that the UPA Government had initiated the development process in the North East, Gandhi said the Centre allocated Rs 50,000 crore for the 11th Plan only for the road sector in the region.
"This huge fund is being allotted with a condition that it must be utilised properly," she said.
She also said the fund was being released for the construction of the Dimapur-Kohima railway line.
The Centre, she said, also gave priority for development of cross-border trade between the region and neighbouring countries. In this regard three border trade points had been identified in Nagaland.
Apart from Dimapur, she also addressed an election rally at the Imkongmeren Sports Ground in Mokokchung.