Shangus (JK): Congress president Sonia Gandhi today alleged that flood-hit people of Jammu and Kashmir were "bearing the brunt of hollow promises" made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who she claimed was playing politics over the "miseries" of people.
"Prime Minister came here recently and made a long list of promises. He announced some package but what is the ground reality. The reality is what you know and you are bearing the brunt of hollow promises," Gandhi said addressing an election rally in south Kashmir's Shangus onstituency here, which is going to polls in the fourth phase on December 14.
She said this was not the time to play politics. "This is the time to address your miseries. This is the time to provide you shelter, food and take care of your daily needs. But the Modi-led Central government is not paying any attention," the Congress president alleged. "Why relief efforts are moving slowly?" Gandhi asked as she reminded people about the response of Congress-led UPA government at the Centre when the state was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2005.
Praising the people for high voter turnout in the ongoing Assembly polls, the Congress president said the elections came at a time when the people were struggling with the pain caused by the floods. "Despite that, the enthusiasm with which you participated in the democratic exercise I salute your determination," she said.
"Our vision for Jammu and Kashmir's development and social uplift is clear. The developmental works are done byhard work and not through hollow promises," Gandhi said.She added, "Showing dreams is easy but realising these dreams for the progress of the nation is not easy when he community is divided on creed and cast."
She said everyone should get an equal right on the profits of the development. "Congress governments have done that. There are people of every community in Kashmir. People of different religions have right to worship and for this Congress entered into a coalition with those who believe in secularism to keep communal forces away from the state.
"However, sometime, in a coalition government we are not able to prove what we want to do," she said urging the people to vote the party to power.Recalling the 2005 earthquake, Gandhi said, "You must remember that when an earthquake hit Kashmir some years back, (Congress leader) Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Chief Minister. Our (the then) government worked day and night to provide relief to the people in time. The UPA provided whatever help was needed," she said.
Attacking the NDA government, she said,"What is happening today when there is a BJP government at the Centre. It seems it does not care about your miseries. Package that the state government had demanded from the Centre according to the needs was not provided."Gandhi said she rushed to Kashmir immediately after the floods hit the state in September and saw the destruction caused by the natural calamity.
"I felt the pain in my heart which I cannot express." "After the devastation, every citizen here was working hard and the respect for you in our hearts has increased," the Congress leader said. She said Congress did whatever it could to help flood victims in the time of need. "Congress workers from several states came here to work with you shoulder to shoulder.
We know that you are worried about shelter, food grains, education of your children and the employment of the youth. "We realise all this especially the needs of women. Be it daily needs or health, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Our focus is on that and it is our priority," she said. The Congress president said the hardships come in life but if relief was provided in time then people get solace.
"I do not feel good to talk about politics when there is sadness and worries around. But I cannot live without sharing my pain with you," she said.
The Congress president said that her party would do everything possible to end the miseries of the people and ensure equitable development for all if voted to power. "Congress is doing it and will continue to do in future as well. This is my promise to all," she said promising all round development of Jammu and Kashmir if her party comes to power in the state.
"Our promise is to give fillip to tourism, handicrafts and arts in a big way if Congress comes to power. We will also help in increasing employment avenues and also promise women empowerment through self help groups. "We will implement a pension scheme for elderly and widows. We promise of creating two development counsels for Jammu and Kashmir and implement the food security act," she said.
Gandhi claimed that the state had witnessed "tremendous development" under the Congress rule. "Our government under Azad developed hospitals, roads and other infrastructure facilities besides giving fillip to tourism. We made the law and order situation better. Water and electricity supply reached far flung villages and we focussed on education of children, health and sanitisation the most," she said.
The Congress president said that the party tried its best to ensure equitable development of all the three regions of the state. Seeking votes for the party candidates, Gandhi said,"We request you to vote for Congress and ensure victory of our candidates by huge margins to protect the secular ethos in Jammu and Kashmir and uphold the Kashmiryat". "Elect a government which can work on values and principles in a plan