Sonia Gandhi charms mammoth crowds
Violence brings no enduring solution, AICC President said at public meeting at Kangla

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 12 2010: Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi who was greeted by bandh and boycott today said that she was conscious of hardships faced by the people of the state inflicted by various forms of violence and disturbances.

She said this while addressing a public meeting held at Kangla here.

"I am aware of hardship people face due to violence frequent bandhs, blockades and violence.

I know the sentiments of the people as well," Sonia said asserting that "no enduring solution is brought by violence, any problem can be solved only through dialogue and not violence" .

Congress led governments at the Centre and state has revived the lost spirit of the people of this state, she said recalling the handing over of Kangla fort to the people in 2004 by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohon Singh and many other developmental works under the Prime Minister's Package and other Central sponsored projects.

Many projects which could not be completed by earlier governments had been completed, she said referring to the inaugurations of Khuga Dam which had remained incomplete for the last three decades and also the multi-storey women's market in Imphal.

Though it was late, UPA government included the Khuga Multi-purpose projects in the Prime Minister's Package and with Rs 381 crore released by the Centre, state government has been able to complete the project.

For the completion of the multi-storey market-sheds, Delhi had provided Rs 72 crore.

Today itself, the Centre has cleared release of another Rs 72 crore for construction of another women market in Imphal which would be the fourth one, Sonia said.

The UPA chairperson who's speech mostly confined to her party's achievements and policy programme further observed that Congress party is firmly committed to the development of the state, despite the odds ahead of the government, in taking up various schemes and projects for the welfare of the people.

"Development must reach to each and every section of the society, is the motto of the party,"she said.

The UPA termed the successful conduct of the election to the six Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in hill districts of Manipur as another great achievement of the Congress led governments at the Centre as well as in the state.

It was another initiative of the governments to ensure to outreach governmental developmental activities and welfare activities to every nook and corner of the state.

"I am grateful to the successful conduct of election to the local bodies," she said.

Gandhi also acknowledged the laurels brought about by the sportspersons of the state in various national and international events particularly in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Asserting that education is the key factor to bring peace in the region, she said that Centre has given clearance to the state's request for opening of Manipur regional campus of the Indira Gandhi Tribal University forwhich she laid the foundation stone today.

Earlier also state government has been able to set up a medical college (Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences) and National Institute of Technology (NIT) in the state, she said.

Clarifying on Chief Minister O Ibobi's observation of hardships faced by him in availing projects from different ministries in New Delhi, Sonia said that he need not to go from post to pillar to convince them.

"Prime Minister and I am there, you (Ibobi) come to me or to Prime Minister.

We are in Delhi to help you, and all," she said.

Earlier, in his address at the public meeting, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said that he usually has to stay many days going from ministry to ministry to get sanctions funds for projects and schemes being implementing in the state with Central funds and for getting new projects.

The Chief Minister said that by inaugurating projects like Women's Market, Regional Campus of IGTU, Tribal Market and Muslim Girls Hostel, Sonia has won the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur.

"Madam, we are so touched and moved by your gesture," he said.

Protection and taking up welfare work of tribal and minorities is on the top of the agenda of his government.

In fact most of the projects inaugurated or initiated today by UPA chairperson are meant for the welfare of these deprived sections only, Chief Minister said.

He said that the Khuga Multi-purpose project is constructed for the tribal people of Churachandpur.

The Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Manipur Campus in Makhan village of Senapati district is a great achievement of the state in the direction of empowerment of the tribal community.

Ibobi also claimed that the success in the constitution of ADCs in five hill districts through a democratic election was another important step for the welfare of tribal people in form of local self government.

"My government has already devolved immense powers to these newly elected district councils thereby fulfilling the mandate of democratic de-centralization which had been pending for more than two decades," the Chief Minister claimed.

The public meeting organised by the MPCC as part of the year long celebration of the 125 year of existence of the Congress party was also attended by three Union Ministers of state, Kumari Selja for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Tourism, Daggubati Purandeswari, Human Resource Development, Mallipudi Mangapathi Pallam Raju, Defense and AICC NE in-charge Luizihno Falerio.

MPCC president Gaikhangam in the key note address of the meeting said that Congress led SPF government under the leadership of Chief Minister O Ibobi has been able to win the hearts of the people.

It has been indicated by the fact that the party which came to power as the single largest party in 2002 had been able to become the majority party in 2007 election.

At the initial stage of the first year term, state government faced critical financial problems and there scarce funds for taking up developmental works with most funds used to pay salaries of its employees.

But this was relieved with the UPA government coming to power, he claimed.

Information and Tourism minister, TN Haokip delivered the vote of thanks speech at the concluding function of the meeting.

Gandhi who arrived at 11 am at Imphal airport concluded her visit at 3 pm.

During her four hour busy schedule, she was airlifted by helicopter to the Khuga dam project in Churachandpur to inaugurate the dam.

After paying tribute to the Bir Tikendrajit Shahid Minar, she inaugurated the three multi-storey women's market sheds.

She unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Congress Bhavan before inaugurating an annexe building.

She then proceeded to the CM's Secretariat cum residence for lunch which was followed by a public meeting at the Kangla.

On arrival at the Kangla and before addressing the public meeting, she unveiled the curtains of inaugural stones and foundations stones of tribal market, minority (muslim) girls' hostel, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) campus and Netaji Subhaschandra Bose, INA Memorial campus, Moirang.

Sonia and her entourage concluded their tour at 3.00 pm and departed from Kangla to Imphal Airport by helicopter from where she took the special flight for New Delhi.

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